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Home > Astronomy > The Sky > Constellations



Constellations


A constellation is a group of stars that are connected together to form a figure or picture. The term is also traditionally and less formally used to mean any group of stars visibly related to each other, if they are considered as a fixed configuration or pattern in a particular culture.

Some well-known constellations contain striking and familiar patterns of bright stars. Examples are Orion (containing a figure of a hunter), Leo (containing bright stars outlining the form of a lion), Scorpius (a scorpion), and Crux (a cross).

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) divides the sky into 88 official constellations with exact boundaries, so that every direction or place in the sky belongs within one constellation. In the northern celestial hemisphere, these are mostly based upon the constellations of the ancient Greek tradition, passed down through the Middle Ages, and contains the signs of the zodiac. The sun appears to pass through the 12 constellations of the zodiac (plus Ophiuchus) and ancient Greek astronomers believed they had a special significance. All constellation names are Latin proper names or words.

The stars in a constellation or asterism rarely have any astrophysical relationship to each other; they just happen to appear close together in the sky as viewed from Earth and typically lie many light-years apart in space. However, one exception to this is the Ursa Major moving group.

The grouping of stars into constellations is essentially arbitrary, and different cultures have had different constellations, although a few of the more obvious ones tend to recur frequently, e.g., Orion and Scorpius.




Andromeda


Antlia


Apus


Aquarius


Aquila


Ara


Aries


Auriga


Bo÷tes


Caelum


Camelopardalis


Cancer


Canes Venatici


Canis Major


Canis Minor


Capricornus


Carina


Cassiopeia


Centaurus


Cepheus


Cetus


Chamaeleon


Circinus


Columba


Coma Berenices


Corona Australis


Corona Borealis


Corvus


Crater


Crux


Cygnus


Delphinus


Dorado


Draco


Equuleus


Eridanus


Fornax


Gemini


Grus


Hercules


Horologium


Hydra


Hydrus


Indus


Lacerta


Leo


Leo Minor


Lepus


Libra


Lupus


Lynx


Lyra


Mensa


Microscopium


Monoceros


Musca


Norma


Octans


Ophiuchus


Orion


Pavo


Pegasus


Perseus


Phoenix


Pictor


Pisces


Piscis Austrinus


Puppis


Pyxis


Reticulum


Sagitta


Sagittarius


Scorpius


Sculptor


Scutum


Serpens


Sextans


Taurus


Telescopium


Triangulum


Triangulum Australe


Tucana


Ursa Major


Ursa Minor


Vela


Virgo


Volans


Vulpecula


Source of article and images: http://wikipedia.org . Published under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2






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