An Actual Star Named For Bonnie


Corona Borealis or the Northern Crown, is the crown Ariadne wore at her wedding. It was made by the supreme goldsmith, Hephaestus, at his underwater smithy.

The story is connected to a more notable myth, of the Minotaur and of Theseus, who was destined to kill it. To do so, he needed Ariadne's help. This beautiful young maiden was the daughter of Minos, king of Crete. She was also the half-sister to the Minotaur, the half-man half-bull which lived at the centre of a labyrinth.

Every year Minos ordered seven young men and seven maidens from Athens to be served up to the Minotaur. The current hero in Athens was Theseus, son of Poseidon, and heir to the Athenian throne. Only a young man, Theseus had already proved himself by a variety of heroic deeds. Then time came for the yearly tribute to Crete. Theseus volunteered to be one of the seven young men.

When he arrived in Crete, Ariadne fell in love with him. Theseus was met by Minos, who challenged the young man to prove he was indeed the son of Poseidon. Minos threw a gold ring into the sea, and told Theseus to fetch it.

Theseus dove into the deep, and was met by dolphins which escorted him to the palace of the Nereids. Thetis, one of the Nereid sisters (or sea nymphs), gave Theseus a jewelled crown that Hephaestus had made. With the gold ring and the crown, Theseus swam back to Crete. This feat received the loving admiration of Ariadne.

Ariadne had a magic ball of twine that could roll out by itself and follow the path to the centre of the labyrinth, where the Minotaur was kept. She promised to help Theseus kill the Minotaur if he would marry her and take her back to Athens. Theseus agreed, so she gave him the ball of twine. Theseus followed the rolling twine to the centre of the labyrinth and promptly killed the Minotaur. He married Ariadne, gave her the jewelled crown as a wedding present, and they sailed off for Athens.

However, Theseus and the Athenians abandoned the sleeping Ariadne during a stop on the island of Naxos. She implored her father, Zeus, to make amends. Zeus took pity and sent Dionysus to comfort his daughter. As she sat forlornly on the rocks, Dionysus (or Bacchus), the god of wine, came upon her and tried to comfort her. Overcome by her beauty, he asked her to marry him. She responded that she was disillusioned with mortal men and wished to be left alone. When he assured her that he was a god, she told him to prove it. Pleasantly he chuckled, and tossed the crown of Hephaestus into the skies. There it hung, and one by one seven bright stars danced around it, until the whole band was shinning over head. That is your wedding gift, he said, pulling it down and placing it on her head. You are to wear it as an everlasting token of your beauty. He then took her for his wife. They raised four sons and `lived happily ever after'. When Ariadne died Dionysus honored her by taking the wedding crown and placing it in the heavens between Hercules and Bootes.

The constellation Corona Borealis is found nearly midway between two very bright stars, Arcturus and Vega, a little closer to the first of these stars. This constellation will be easier to find with the coming of Spring.

Now look at the star chart below and find the star 'Bonnie Lynn Daniel' just off the edge of the crown.
She will forever be in the International Star Registry's Vault in Switzerland and permanently recorded in the U.S. Copyright Office. The star was named on the exact day she left me, November 18, 2004. Now I can look up at her star every night just after I feed the dogs. Music is entitled 'Starman Leaves/End Title' - Jack Nitzsche. It is from one of Bonnie's favorite movies 'Starman'.