The Hidden Cargo Aboard the Jason and the Argonauts' Ship Constellation

By Jamie Condliffe on at

This is the constellation known as Argo Navis, said to represent the ship of the same name that Jason and the Argonauts used in the quest for the Golden Fleece. And as the ship likely did, it houses some secrets of its own.

The constellation was first identified by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy in the 2nd century AD, then later split into three by French star-gazer Nicolas Louis de Lacaille in 1752. In fact, this is part he referred to as the ship’s keel.

The image was captured by Japan’s Akari space observatory as part of its all-sky survey. It shows that the constellation contains large quantities of stellar dust where, the European Space Agency explains, “gravity is incubating new stars”. The dust is made visible by the Akari space observatory’s ability to measure the far-infrared radiation it gives off. [ESA]