Which are the most famous constellations every man should know? What are they – explained for children. How many of them are there? Top 7 most recognizable constellations and the 12 zodiac signs.
Let’s start with the stars constellations. Use the navigation:
There are people who study space, stars, and the universe for their job. These people are called, Astronomers. The earliest astronomers noticed that many of the brightest stars in our galaxy formed pictures in the sky. They called these pictures, constellations.
Similar to “connect-the-dots” pictures, when the twinkling stars are connected, they form a constellation.
Mythology and Constellations
The constellations make up shapes of people, animals, and mythological beings. The word “mythological” comes from the word “myth”. A myth is a made-up story. The Greeks and Romans made-up stories about gods, heroes and creatures, such as serpents, dragons, or flying horses. They then named various constellations after them.
Let’s take a closer look at a few constellations that might be familiar to you. As you look at these constellations you may notice that some of them are easier to see than others. Sometimes the images are just a series of straight lines in a special pattern that may not look exactly like a person, animal, or mythological being. Many of the constellations require you to use your imagination to see the image they create. See if you recognize any of these constellations:
Hercules is one of the largest constellations, but its stars aren’t very bright. Hercules is a hero from Greek mythology. He is one of Zeus’s children and was said to be very brave. This constellation is an image of Hercules, who became a god after his death.
Orion mainly consists of supergiant stars, which are the largest and brightest stars. Three of these stars form a line called Orion’s Belt. They lead to Sirius, which is the brightest star in the sky. Orion can be seen from both the Southern and the Northern Hemisphere. From Greek mythology, Orion was a giant and a very good hunter. Zeus placed him among the stars after Orion’s death. Orion looks like he is defending himself from a nearby constellation, called “Taurus the bull”. Orion is holding a club or weapon in one hand and a lion pelt in the other. This constellation is visible throughout the world.
Pegasus is a constellation in the Northern sky. In Greek mythology Pegasus is a magical horse with wings. One of the stories about Pegasus says that his hooves dug out a spring and anyone who drink the water was given the gift of writing poetry.
Draco is Latin for Draconem which means large serpent or dragon. This constellation looks like a large snake making its way through the Northern sky. It can be seen all year from the Northern hemisphere. There are a lot of different myths about Draco. One common myth says that Draco was given the job of guarding some golden apples for Hera, the wife of Zeus. But Hercules slayed Draco to get the apples. Hera was so sad when Draco was killed, she placed him in the sky.
Aquarius is another large constellation with stars that aren’t very bright. During different months of the year it is visible from either the Southern or the Northern hemispheres. The myth related to the constellation Aquarius is about a man named Ganymede who lived on Earth. Ganymede was very handsome and the king of the Gods, Zeus, noticed him. Zeus sent his messenger down to earth to tell Ganymede to come to Mount Olympus, where the gods lived, and serve the gods by bringing them water. Ganymede obeyed. Zeus thanked Ganymede for his service by putting a constellation of him in the sky. Aquarius means “water carrier”. This constellation shows Ganymede kneeling in the sky, pouring water out of a pitcher.
Ursa Major means “great bear”. You have probably heard of a smaller section of it, called “the big dipper”. The big dipper is a group of stars inside Ursa Major. It makes up part of the back half of the bear as well as its tail. The big dipper is not actually a constellation as some people think. It is called an asterism, which is a group of stars that are smaller than a constellation or are part of a constellation. The story of the Great bear is that Zeus turned a beautiful woman named Calisto into a bear to hide her from his wife.
Ursa Minor is also known as “little bear”. Little bear is the child of Great Bear. The little dipper makes up part of Ursa Minor.
There are twelve other constellations that you also might have heard of, called the signs of the Zodiac. They represent all the dates in a calendar year. Your birthday determines what your zodiac sign is. Some people believe that the different signs of the zodiac will tell you what your talents are and what your personality is like. The signs might reveal that you are a shy person, or outgoing. Or, that you are laidback or more serious. Some people also believe the signs can make certain predictions about your life and your future. Here are the locations of the 12 constellations of the zodiac and their names:
- Aquarius and
How many constellations are there
Constellations can be very useful. They have helped ancient farmers know when to plant and harvest crops and they were used as a type of calendar in the sky. Many travelers relied on different stars, like Polaris or the North star, as well as various constellations to guide them on their journeys. Today, modern astronomers and star gazers use constellations to help keep track of specific stars in the sky.
They are also used to locate other objects in the sky such as galaxies. In 1922, the sky was divided into 88 different constellations, but not all of them are as well-known as others. Many of the constellations may be seen in the Northern Hemisphere but may not be visible in the Southern Hemisphere. And some may be easier to locate depending on the time of year. The next time you are outside, look up at the stars and see which constellations you can identify.
There are more than 300 billion stars in the Milky Way Galaxy. The Milky Way is the galaxy where our solar system is located. Our solar system is made up of space rocks, planets, the Sun, the Moon, and of course, Earth.
But did you know that the Milky Way is only one of about 100 billion galaxies! And if we put all those billions of galaxies together, there would be trillions and trillions of stars throughout the universe. That’s a lot of stars! Amazingly, out of all those trillions of stars, when you look up at the night sky, you can only see about 4,500 of them. You are only seeing a tiny fraction of how many stars are really out there.
What’s remarkable is that out of the trillions of stars, each one is different.
- Some stars may have their own system of planets.
- Some stars are older than others.
- And some stars may no longer exist, but their light still travels toward Earth.
That may seem odd that a star’s light can still be seen after it’s gone, but stars are born, they live, and after some time, they die, just like us. After they die, their light continues to travel throughout the universe. By the time its light reaches us, a star might have been dead for thousands of years already.
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