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Constellation Aquila (Eagle)

Constellation Aquila (Eagle)

Southern Hemisphere Northern Hemisphere

Summer Autumn



The bright main star Altair (Alpha Aquilae) of the constellation of the Eagle (lat. Aquila) makes it easy to find in the summer and autumn skies. The name of it comes from the Arabic and means "The Swooping Eagle". The Babylonians and Sumerians also called it the "Star of the Eagle".

How to spot Aquila

In keeping with the mythology, north of Aquila the constellation of Arrow can be found. In the west it is bounded by Hercules and in the east by the Aquarius representing the young Ganymede. With 652 square degrees, the Eagle extends over both hemispheres and can be seen in summer and autumn.


According to Greek mythology, the constellation represents the eagle of Zeus. Many different tasks were imposed on it: Every lightning that Zeus threw on the earth, the eagle should bring back to heaven. It also kidnapped the young Ganymede from Troy and flew him to Olympus to serve the Gods. In addition, the eagle should protect Zeus from the arrows of Cupid, to keep him from romances on earth. As many narratives show, the eagle could not fulfill especially this task; because of the excessive demand it was finally set as a constellation in the sky.

Another version reports of the eagle Ethon, who daily ate the liver of Prometheus, who was bound to a rock as a punishment. Because of his immortality, he had to suffer the tortures until Hercules killed the eagle with a poisoned arrow and released Prometheus.