Constellations ( (table))
|Andromeda||Andromeda (Chained Lady)||1||+43|
|Apus||Bird of Paradise||16||-75|
|Canes Venatici||Hunting Dogs||13||+43|
|Canis Major||Large Dog||7||-23|
|Canis Minor||Small Dog||7||+25|
|Cassiopeia||Cassiopeia (Seated Lady)||1||+64|
|Cepheus||Cepheus (the King)||22||+68|
|Circinus||Pair of Compasses||15||-65|
|Coma Berenices||Berenice's Hair||13||+22|
|Corona Australis||Southern Crown||19||-40|
|Corona Borealis||Northern Crown||16||+31|
|Dorado||Dorado (a fish)||5||-64|
|Eridanus||Eridanus (a river)||4||-18|
|Leo Minor||Small Lion||10||+35|
|Orion||Orion (the Hunter)||5||+2|
|Pegasus||Pegasus (Winged Horse)||22||+18|
|Perseus||Perseus (Rescuer of Andromeda)||4||+44|
|Piscis Austinus||Southern Fish||22||-28|
|Triangulum Australe||Southern Triangle||16||-65|
|Ursa Major||Large Bear||10||+48|
|Ursa Minor||Small Bear||15||+73|
"Constellations ( (table))." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 28, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/constellations-table
"Constellations ( (table))." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved April 28, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/constellations-table
A constellation is a group of stars that form a long-recognized pattern in the sky, as viewed from Earth. The stars that make up a constellation do not represent any meaningful order in the universe. Those stars may be at very different distances from Earth and from one another. Constellations seen from Earth would be shaped much differently and would be unrecognizable if viewed from another part of our galaxy.
The naming of constellations dates back to ancient civilizations. Although some constellations may resemble the animals, objects, or people for which they were named, others were merely named in honor of those figures. Many of the constellations were originally given Greek names and are related to ancient mythology. These names were later replaced by their Latin equivalents, names by which they are still known today.
Words to Know
Asterism: Familiar star pattern that is not a constellation.
Celestial sphere: The sky or imaginary sphere that surrounds Earth and provides a visual surface on which astronomers plot celestial objects and chart their apparent movement due to Earth's rotation.
Ecliptic: The apparent path of the Sun, the Moon, and the major planets among the stars in one year, as viewed from Earth.
Stargazing, however, was not limited to the ancient Greeks and Romans. Many cultures looked to celestial bodies to understand the creation
and structure of the universe and their place in it. Their naming of the different stars reflects their views or mythology. For example, the constellations the Romans called Ursa Major and Cassiopeia (pronounced kas-eeo-PEE-a) were called Whirling Man and Whirling Woman by the Navajo.
Some familiar star groups known by common names are not constellations at all. These groups are called asterisms. Two examples are the Big Dipper and the Little Dipper. The Big Dipper, also known as the Plough, is part of the constellation Ursa Major (the Great Bear). The Little Dipper is part of the constellation Ursa Minor.
Eighty-eight constellations encompass the present-day celestial sphere (the sky or imaginary sphere that surrounds Earth). Each of these constellations is associated with a definite region in the celestial sphere. The yearly path of the Sun, the Moon, and the major planets among the stars, as viewed from Earth, is called the ecliptic. Twelve constellations are located on or near the ecliptic. These constellations—Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricornus, Aquarius, and Pisces—are known as the constellations of the zodiac. The remaining constellations can be viewed in the celestial sphere during the year from either the Northern Hemisphere (28 constellations) or the Southern Hemisphere (48 constellations).
The daily rotation of Earth on it axis causes the constellations to appear to move westward across the sky each night. The yearly revolution of Earth around the Sun, which brings about the seasons, causes different constellations to come into view during the seasons.
[See also Star ]
"Constellation." UXL Encyclopedia of Science. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 28, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/constellation-1
"Constellation." UXL Encyclopedia of Science. . Retrieved April 28, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/constellation-1
con·stel·la·tion / ˌkänstəˈlāshən/ • n. a group of stars forming a recognizable pattern that is traditionally named after its apparent form or identified with a mythological figure. Modern astronomers divide the sky into eighty-eight constellations with defined boundaries. ∎ a group or cluster of related things. ORIGIN: Middle English (as an astrological term denoting the relative positions of the “stars” (planets), supposed to influence events): via Old French from late Latin constellatio(n-), based on Latin stella ‘star.’
"constellation." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 28, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/constellation
"constellation." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved April 28, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/constellation
"constellation." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 28, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/constellation
"constellation." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved April 28, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/constellation
a fixed group of stars; an assembly of great splendour; a group of famous people; a fixed pattern of individual elements functioning in a related way.
Examples: constellation of fair ladies, 1665; of genius; of computer programs; of prophets, 1860; of stars; of wax lights, 1739.
"Constellation." Dictionary of Collective Nouns and Group Terms. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 28, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/constellation
"Constellation." Dictionary of Collective Nouns and Group Terms. . Retrieved April 28, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/constellation