saucepan constellation

saucepan constellation插图

Ursa Major

What is the other saucepan?

The other Saucepan is rather less striking, containing a collection of rather faint stars in Pavo, to the south of Peacock, that constellation’s brightest member. The stars of the Saucepan form a rough quadrangle southward of Peacock, with a further pair of stars extending eastward to form the Saucepan’s handle.

Is the Big Dipper a constellation?

However, the Big Dipper itself is not a constellation, but only the most visible part of Ursa Major, the third largest of all 88 constellations.

What constellation do Aboriginals use to organize their year?

The Australian Aboriginal constellation of the Emu in the Sky. ( CC BY SA 3.0 ) Another constellation that helped the Australian Aboriginal groups organize their year is one that is known as ‘The Saucepan’, which is also called the ‘Djulpan’ by the Yolngu people of the Northern Territory.

What constellations are in the Pavo family?

Pavo belongs to the Johann Bayer family of constellations, along with Apus, Chamaeleon, Dorado, Grus, Hydrus, Indus, Musca, Phoenix, Tucana and Volans. Pavo contains five stars with confirmed planets and has no Messier objects.

Facts, location and map

Pavo is the 44th constellation in size, occupying an area of 378 square degrees. It is located in the fourth quadrant of the southern hemisphere (SQ4) and can be seen at latitudes between +30° and -90°. The neighboring constellations are Apus, Ara, Indus, Octans and Telescopium.


The constellation is believed to represent the Java green peacock which the Dutch navigators de Houtman and Keyser probably encountered on their journey to the East Indies.

Major stars in Pavo

Alpha Pavonis is the brightest star in Pavo. It is located near the border with the constellation Telescopium. The star has an apparent magnitude of 1.94 and is approximately 179 light years distant from Earth.

Deep sky objects in Pavo

NGC 6752 is a globular cluster. It is the third brightest globular star cluster in the night sky, fainter only than 47 Tucanae (NGC 104) in the constellation Tucana and Omega Centauri (NGC 5139) in Centaurus.

Story Telling About the Night Sky

The first thing to note about Australian Aboriginal astronomy is that it was not just a science, but also involved story-telling. Stories were used to provide explanations for the heavenly bodies and the natural phenomena that happened to them.

The Emu and the Saucepan – Key Points of Focus in Australian Aboriginal Astronomy

One of the most common of these shared stories is the ‘Emu in the Sky’.

Meteors of Destruction or Creation

In addition to the constellations, other heavenly bodies played important roles in Australian Aboriginal astronomy as well. For example, meteors were regarded by some groups as ‘fiery demon eyes’ or the ‘glowing eye of a celestial serpent flying across the sky,’ and were thought to be omens of death and disease.

An Uphill Battle to Retain Knowledge of Australian Aboriginal Astronomy

Sadly, much of the richness of Australian Aboriginal astronomy has already disappeared. Some cultures were so badly destroyed since the colonization of Australia that only fragments of this knowledge are left.


The seven stars of the Big Dipper are Alkaid (Eta Ursae Majoris), Mizar (Zeta Ursae Majoris), Alioth (Epsilon Ursae Majoris), Megrez (Delta Ursae Majoris), Phecda (Gamma Ursae Majoris), Dubhe (Alpha Ursae Majoris) and Merak (Beta Ursae Majoris).

Big Dipper facts and location

Ursa Major lies in the second quadrant of the northern hemisphere (NQ2), which makes it visible at latitudes between +90° and -30°. It is best seen in the evenings in April.

North Star and the Little Dipper

Finding the Big Dipper in the night sky is the easiest way to find Polaris, the North Star, located in the constellation Ursa Minor, the Little Bear. The Big Dipper rotates around the north celestial pole, and always points the way to the North Star.


The Big Dipper is associated with a number of different myths and folk tales in cultures across the world. In Hindu astronomy, the asterism is called Sapta Rishi, or The Seven Great Sages. In eastern Asia, it is known as the Northern Dipper. The Chinese know the seven stars as the Government, or Tseih Sing.