Tag Archives: draco

Famous Constellations: Draco, the Snake-Dragon Constellation

Draco means snake in Greek. Yes, we’re talking about you Malfoy, (Harry Potter nerd here)! Although it does also mean dragon or enormous serpent in Latin.

The Draco constellation is one of the easiest to see in the northern night sky.

And this constellation, like so many, has a great Greek story behind it! The most famous one begins In the garden of Hesperides, where the prized golden apples were guarded by the dragon-snake Ladon. One of the twelve labors of Hercules, (Heracles to the Greeks) was to steal the golden apples. Hercules had to kill Ladon in order to get the apples. The fallen snake- dragon was afterwards set up in the night sky, with its’ head lying at the foot of Hercules!

In other myths, Draco is the dragon guarding the Golden Fleece. And there is an even older myth where Athena,Greek Goddess of Wisdom, defeated Draco during the great, all out world bashing Olympians vs. Titans -and assorted monsters- war!!! You know the one which makes World War I seems like a tea party in comparison! Athena then grabbed Draco’s tail and threw him up into the night sky as a constellation, where he became wrapped around the North Pole.

Draco, unusually for constellations, looks exactly like a snake and literally slithers its’ way across the northern sky. It’s located between Ursa Major and Ursa Minor, so it’s easy to spot on a clear night.

The best time to view this constellations is in July, at around 9pm, (latitudes +90 degrees and -15 degrees).  You can either use a sky chart (downloadable on the internet) or an app.  My favorite stargazing app is the Sky Safari app.  It’s an excellent  tool for quickly identifying the constellations, as they rotate through the celestial heavens.

Evonne Blanchard is the author of, Amelia, the Moochins and the Sapphire Palace,  ‘Amelia, the Venutons and the Golden Cage and Amelia, the Merballs and the Emerald Cannon.  These are the first three books inAmelia’s Amazing Space Adventures.  The author is currently working on the fourth book in the series, Amelia, the Snapperjacks and the Molten Maze.

Ever wondered if aliens exist?  What if one needed your help?  Would you travel into outer space?  For the adventures…of a lifetime!

Preview Amelia’s Amazing Space Adventure books

Book One: Amelia, the Moochins and the Sapphire Palace

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When is a present not a present?  When it’s a friendly purple alien called Uglesnoo, from Pluto!  Uglesnoo needs to leave right away for the Moon.  Uglesnoo also desperately needs Amelia’s help.  Should Amelia venture into outer Space?

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Appealing Illustrations combine with lots of text to make this a great read for children transitioning from picture books to chapter books.” —Kirkus Reviews

The story is imaginative and fun…and a perfect book to stretch my oldest in his independent reading with something fun to keep his attention.” —Beautiful Books for Children

Book Two: Amelia, the Venutons and the Golden Cage

Uglesnoo needs Amelia’s help.  His sister is very sick.  The only cure is a repelling crystal from Neptune.  With his Earthling friend, Amelia, they must continue their quest.  More items are needed to buy the crystal.  But Venus is full of danger and angry aliens.  Are Uglesnoo and Amelia in over their heads?

“A lively sequel offers a sure-handed blend of fantasy, humor, adventure, and an ingenious heroine.” Kirkus Reviews

5/5 star rating!  “Amelia, the Venutons and the Golden Cage is a wonderful children’s book that will allow your kids to get started in the Sci-Fi genre… The story is intriguing and well thought out. All in all, the author did a great job of creating an engaging story that kept my kids interested. We are definitely looking forward to the next book!”- Examiner.com

To preview and/or buy the book, click below:

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Book Three: Amelia, the Merballs and the Emerald Cannon

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Amelia and Uglesnoo land on Mercury.  They meet the Merballs, the friendly aliens that live there.  All goes well until an asteroid hits their planet.  Amelia and Uglesnoo find themselves in deep trouble.  How will they convince the Merballs
of their innocence?  And how will they manage to collect the flying shoes, escape Mercury and continue their quest to save Uglesnoo’s sister?

To preview and/or buy the book, click below:

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“Adventure, inventiveness, and humor merge in this quirky, appealing tale.”
—Kirkus Reviews. 

“…This third book is even more original, fun and creative! With aliens, different planets, a good dose of humor and excellent storytelling that is age-appropriate, this is one of the best kids series out there. The illustrations are pretty fun too and fit the story well.”
—I Heart Reading