In modern astronomy, a constellation is an internationally defined area of the celestial sphere. These areas are grouped around asterisms, patterns formed by prominent stars within apparent proximity to one another on Earth's night sky....
s of the zodiac
In astronomy, the zodiac is a circle of twelve 30° divisions of celestial longitude which are centred upon the ecliptic: the apparent path of the Sun across the celestial sphere over the course of the year...
. It was one of the 48 constellations described by the 2nd century
The 2nd century is the period from 101 to 200 in accordance with the Julian calendar in the Christian/Common Era. It is considered part of the Classical era, epoch, or historical period...
Claudius Ptolemy , was a Roman citizen of Egypt who wrote in Greek. He was a mathematician, astronomer, geographer, astrologer, and poet of a single epigram in the Greek Anthology. He lived in Egypt under Roman rule, and is believed to have been born in the town of Ptolemais Hermiou in the...
and it remains one of the 88 modern constellations today. Its name is Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...
for "twins", and it is associated with the twins Castor and Pollux
Castor and Pollux
In Greek and Roman mythology, Castor and Pollux or Polydeuces were twin brothers, together known as the Dioscuri . Their mother was Leda, but Castor was the mortal son of Tyndareus, king of Sparta, and Pollux the divine son of Zeus, who visited Leda in the guise of a swan...
in Greek mythology
Greek mythology is the body of myths and legends belonging to the ancient Greeks, concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world, and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. They were a part of religion in ancient Greece...
. Its symbol is .
Gemini lies between Taurus
Taurus is one of the constellations of the zodiac. Its name is a Latin word meaning 'bull', and its astrological symbol is a stylized bull's head:...
to the west and Cancer
Cancer is one of the twelve constellations of the zodiac. Its name is Latin for crab and it is commonly represented as such. Its symbol is . Cancer is small and its stars are faint...
to the east, with Auriga
Auriga is a constellation in the northern sky. Its name is Latin for 'charioteer' and its stars form a shape that has been associated with the pointed helmet of a charioteer. It was one of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy, and remains among the 88 modern...
Lynx is a constellation in the northern sky, introduced in the 17th century by Johannes Hevelius. It is named after the lynx, a genus of cat. It is a very faint constellation; its brightest stars form a zigzag line.-History:...
to the north and Monoceros
Monoceros is a faint constellation on the celestial equator. Its name is Greek for unicorn. Its definition is attributed to the 17th-century Dutch cartographer Petrus Plancius. It is bordered by Orion to the west, Gemini to the north, Canis Major to the south and Hydra to the east...
and Canis Minor
Canis Minor is a small constellation. It was included in the 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy's 48 constellations, and is still included among the 88 modern constellations...
to the south.
The Sun resides in Gemini from 21 June to 21 July each year.