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In Greek mythology, Ixion was one of the Lapiths, and a son of Phlegyas. Pirithous was his son. He married a daughter of Deioneus and, in order to avoid paying the bride-price, pushed him into a bed of coals. For this, he was punished in Tartarus after his death by spending eternity on a flaming wheel.

He was sometimes thought of as an ancestor of the centaurs. Hence, they were called Ixionidae.

In other versions, Ixion attempted to seduce Hera at a feast of the gods, which prompted her to complain to Zeus. Zeus, being quite the womanizer himself, humored Ixion's desires, and let him conjugate with a likeness of Hera made out of clouds. When Ixion came down to earth, he bragged to other mortals about sleeping with the queen of the gods. Zeus punished him for his boasts, by lashing him to an eternally spinning wheel.

28978 Ixion is a Kuiper belt object discovered in 2001 with a diameter of approximately 760 km and a mean orbital radius of 39.31 AU.