¡SkyCaramba! Weekly astronomy blog for the week ending May 18, 2013
Some old stories say the crow used to be a beautiful bird. It had silvery white feathers and a lovely song. But it made the mistake of lying to a being with supernatural powers and has never been known as an enchanting creature since. This story is immortalized in our night sky.
The Greek legend tells of the day Apollo sent Corvus, his feathered and faithful servant, to fetch him some spring water in a bowl. Corvus left right away and should have returned from his mission fairly quickly. But the bird spotted a fig plant and decided to take a lunch break.
As he landed to feast upon the fig’s berries, Corvus saw they weren’t ripe yet. Thinking about the fruits were maturing into a delicious treat, the crow forgot about his water fetching assignment. He waited for the berries to ripen.
Figs don’t ripen quickly. Corvus may have waited a few weeks not thinking at all about his boss waiting for a drink of water. After finally gorging on the berries, he remembered what Apollo had sent him out for. Frantically, Corvus picked up the bowl, retrieved ...