The Draco constellation is one of the largest constellations in the sky. Draco is one of the Greek constellations. It was first recorded by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy in the 2nd century.
Draco is the eighth largest constellation in the night sky. Draco contains 17 formally named stars: Aldhibah, Alrakis, Alruba, Alsafi, Altais, Athebyne, Dziban, Edasich, Eltanin, Fafnir, Funi, Giausar, Grumium, Rastaban, Taiyi, Thuban, and Tianyi. There is also one meteor shower associated with the constellation; the Draconids.
The Draco constellation represents Ladon, the dragon that guarded the gardens of the Hesperides in Greek mythology. The name Draco also means “the dragon” in Latin.
The Myth of Draco
Ladon, the mythical dragon that protected the golden apples in the Hesperides' gardens, is represented by Draco.
Hera received the golden apple tree as a wedding gift when she wed Zeus. She planted the tree in her garden on Mount Atlas and assigned the Hesperides, Atlas' daughters, to watch over it. In order to prevent the Hesperides from picking any apples from the tree, she also positioned the dragon Ladon around it.
Heracles was required to take several golden apples from the tree as one of his twelve labours. With his poisoned arrows, he vanquished Ladon and seized the fruits. Hera, grieved at the death of the dragon, set its likeness among the stars in the sky. Typically, Draco is seen wrapped around the North Pole with Heracles' foot perched atop its head.
Draco was one of the giant titans who fought the Olympian gods for ten years in Roman mythology. With the help of the goddess Minerva, the Titan met his demise and was sent into the air, where it froze around the North Pole.