With an area of 72 square degrees, the Colt (lat. Equuleus) is the second smallest constellation in the sky. Only one of its stars is brighter than the fourth magnitude. The Latin name means "foal".
How to spot Equuleus
Equuleus is best seen during autumn in the northern hemisphere. The four stars, visible to the naked eye, form a square representing the head of the young foal. Unobtrusively, it lies between the constellationsPegasus,DelphinusandAquarius.
According to Greek mythology, Poseidon created the world's first horse from the foam of the sea and called it Kyllaros. Later it was given to thetwinsCastor and Pollux and finally set as a constellation in the sky.
Another tradition tells about Hippe, the daughter ofCentaurusCheiron. When she was impregnated and afterwards left by a man, she fled shamefully into the mountains. There she gave birth to her daughter Melanippe, who later became Queen of the Amazons. Cheiron was desperately looking for the two, but Hippe did not want to be found and asked Artemis to turn her into a horse and put her into heaven. There she always hides so well, that only her head is recognizable.
Equuleus is one of the 48 ancient constellations described byPtolemy. At that time, it was called the "head of the horse". The Arab astronomers entitled it "the first horse" because it rises in the sky before Pegasus.