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Constellation

A Constellation is a group of stars that resemble a pattern from which legends and stories have been built around. The constellations that most people are familiar with such as Leo and Libra for instance are based on the Ancient Greek Legends. The Chinese had their own constellations that were Azure Dragon of the East, Black Tortoise of the North, White Tiger of the West and Vermillion Bird of the South. When constellations are mentioned, this site refers unless stated on the Greek constellations.

Below is the complete list of 88 constellations that surround our solar system. If we went to a different star such as Rigil Kentaurus also known as Alpha Centauri, the stars will not appear in the same place in the sky as they do on Earth. The constellations that surround Rigil Kentaurus will have a different shape and so will need new constellations. The original list of constellations consisted of 48 which was devised by Greek astronomer Ptolemy in 140AD. During the 19th and 20th, they swelled in numbers to 88, some of the newer constellations were divised by Nicolas L de LaCaille, which are predominantly located in the southern hemispheric constellation. To get a rough idea of which are new and which are old, the constellations in the southern hemisphere with a few exceptions are new. The Microscopium and Telescopium are two that are definantly new as the objects they represent were not around in 140AD. Some constellations are easy to identify such as Ursa Minor and Orion whilst others are hard to distinguish between them and any other collection of Stars, e.g. Telescropium because it is simply two stars in a line.

Some constellations have been dropped such as Quadrans Muralis (Mural Quadrant) and all that remains of this constellation is the Quantratids, a Meteor Shower that is within the Bootes constellation boundary now.

As the Sun orbits round the Galactic Centre, the stars will move out of place and so these constellations won`t be recognisable in thousands of years time. Ursa Major will probably look more like a tadpole than what it does now, a saucepan. Since the Zodiac Constellations were drawn up, they are no longer in the positions that they are associated with. For example, the Leo Constellation doesn`t appear after the Sun sets in August anymore. It was Edmund Halley, Sir who discovered that stars moved and it is on that basis 1 that we now that these constellations won`t be like this in say 50,000 years. Some stars such as Nunki will move out of position they are now quicker because they are in Sagittarius and closer to the galactic centre than say Acubens in Cancer which by rough calculation is further out of the galaxy than our own Sun. In the future, they`ll be new constellations, maybe a computer constellation or a plane.


AndromedaAntliaApusAquarius
Aquila AraAriesAuriga
BootesCaelumCamelopardalis Cancer
Canes VenaticiCanis MajorCanis MinorCapricornus
CarinaCassiopeiaCentaurusCepheus
CetusChamaeleonCircinusColumba
Coma BerenicesCorona AustralisCorona BorealisCorvus
CraterCruxCygnusDelphinus
DoradoDracoEquuleusEridanus
FornaxGeminiGrusHercules
HorologiumHydraHydrusIndus
Lacerta LeoLeo MinorLepus
LibraLupusLynxLyra
Mensa MicroscopiumMonocerosMusca
NormaOctansOphiuchus Orion
PavoPegasusPerseusPhoenix
PictorPiscesPiscis AustrinusPuppis
PyxisReticulum Sagitta Sagittarius
ScorpiusSculptorScutumSerpens
SextansTaurusTelescopiumTriangulum
Triangulum AustraleTucana Ursa Major Ursa Minor
VelaVirgoVolansVulpecula




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