explanation of constellations

What is constellations in science?

Updated August 20, 2019. Constellations are patterns of stars in the sky that humans have used since antiquity to navigate and to learn about space. Sort of like a game of cosmic connect-the-dots, stargazers draw lines between bright stars to form familiar shapes. Some stars are much brighter than others but …

How to learn constellations?

The easiest way to learn the constellations is to see seasonal star charts for both the north and south latitudes. Northern Hemisphere seasons are the opposite for Southern Hemisphere viewers so a chart marked "Southern Hemisphere winter" represents what people south of the equator see in winter.

What are the brightest stars in the Northern Hemisphere?

In the Northern Hemisphere, looking south during the winter provides a chance to explore the rest of the bright constellations available during December, January, and February each year. Orion stands out among the largest and brightest of the star patterns. He’s joined by Gemini, Taurus, and Canis Major. The three bright stars at Orion’s waist are called the "Belt Stars" and a line drawn from them to the southwest leads to the throat of Canis Major, home to Sirius (the dog star), the brightest star in our night-time sky that is visible around the world.

What constellations cover large swaths of the sky?

People also use this "V" to find the Andromeda Galaxy. You should also bear in mind that some constellations cover large swaths of the sky while others are very small. For example, Delphinus, the Dolphin is tiny compared to its neighbor Cygnus, the Swan. Ursa Major is medium-sized but very recognizable.

What is Ursa Major?

Ursa Major is medium-sized but very recognizable. People use it to find Polaris, our pole star . It’s often easier to learn groups of constellations together in order to be able to draw connections between them and use them to locate one another.

What are the brightest stars in the sky?

He’s joined by Gemini, Taurus, and Canis Major. The three bright stars at Orion’s waist are called the "Belt Stars" and a line drawn from them to the southwest leads to the throat of Canis Major, home to Sirius (the dog star), the brightest star in our night-time sky that is visible around the world.

Why do we use Polaris?

People use it to find Polaris, our pole star . It’s often easier to learn groups of constellations together in order to be able to draw connections between them and use them to locate one another. (For example, Orion and Canis Major and its bright star Sirius are neighbors, as are Taurus and Orion.)

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