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lesser dog

List of constellations

Each culture has its own constellations, usually based on mythology. This article covers the 88 constellations used in modern astronomy, which properly speaking are not patterns of stars, as in the common use of the word, but areas of the sky (the celestial sphere).

The ancient Babylonians, and later the Greeks (as recorded by Ptolemy), established most of the northern constellations in international use today. When European explorers mapped the stars of the southern skies, European and American astronomers proposed new constellations for that region, as well as ones to fill gaps between the traditional constellations. Not all of these proposals caught on, but in 1922, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) adopted the modern list of 88 constellations. After this, Eugène Delporte drew up precise boundaries for each constellation, so that every point in the sky belonged to exactly one constellation.

Constellation Families

Family Total Constellations
Constellations Grouped by Family
Ursa Major 10 Ursa Major, Ursa Minor, Draco, Canes Venatici, Boötes, Coma Berenices, Corona Borealis, Camelopardalis, Lynx, Leo Minor,
Zodiac 12 Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpius, Sagittarius, Capricornus, Aquarius, Pisces, Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer,
Perseus 09 Cassiopeia, Cepheus, Andromeda, Perseus, Pegasus, Cetus, Auriga, Lacerta, Triangulum,
Hercules 19 Hercules, Sagitta, Aquila, Lyra, Cygnus, Vulpecula, Hydra, Sextans, Crater, Corvus, Ophiuchus, Serpens, Scutum, Centaurus, Lupus, Corona Australis, Ara, Triangulum Australe, Crux,
Orion 05 Orion, Canis Major, Canis Minor, Monoceros, Lepus,
Heavenly Waters 09 Delphinus, Equuleus, Eridanus, Piscis Austrinus, Carina, Puppis, Vela, Pyxis, Columba,
Johann Bayer 11 Hydrus, Dorado, Volans, Apus, Pavo, Grus, Phoenix, Tucana, Indus, Chamaeleon, Musca,
LaCaille 13 Norma, Circinus, Telescopium, Microscopium, Sculptor, Fornax, Caelum, Horologium, Octans, Mensa, Reticulum, Pictor, Antlia,
link: http://www.seds.org/Maps/Const/const_family.html

Constellations Grouped by Location (Quadrants of Midpoints)
Quad Total Constellations
NQ1 08 Pisces, Andromeda, Cassiopeia, Triangulum, Aries, Perseus, Taurus, Orion,
NQ2 10 Auriga, Monoceros, Gemini, Canis Minor, Lynx, Cancer, Camelopardalis, Leo Minor, Leo, Ursa Major,
NQ3 08 Coma Berenices, Canes Venatici, Boötes, Ursa Minor, Draco, Corona Borealis, Serpens, Hercules,
NQ4 10 Lyra, Sagitta, Aquila, Vulpecula, Cygnus, Delphinus, Equuleus, Cepheus, Lacerta, Pegasus,
SQ1 14 Sculptor, Phoenix, Cetus, Hydrus, Fornax, Horologium, Eridanus, Reticulum, Caelum, Dorado, Mensa, Lepus, Pictor, Columba,
SQ2 11 Canis Major, Puppis, Volans, Carina, Pyxis, Vela, Sextans, Antlia, Chamaeleon, Crater, Hydra,
SQ3 14 Corvus, Crux, Musca, Centaurus, Virgo, Circinus, Libra, Lupus, Norma, Triangulum Australe, Apus, Scorpius, Ara, Ophiuchus,
SQ4 13 Corona Australis, Scutum, Sagittarius, Telescopium, Pavo, Microscopium, Capricornus, Indus, Piscis Austrinus, Aquarius, Grus, Octans, Tucana,

link: http://calgary.rasc.ca/constellation.htm

Modern constellations

For help with the literary English pronunciations, see the IPA English pronunciation key. There is considerable diversity in how Latinate names are pronounced in English. For traditions closer to the original, see Latin spelling and pronunciation.

constellation abbreviations genitive origin meaning
Andromeda
/ænˈdrɒmɨdə/
And Andr Andromedae
/ænˈdrɒmɨdiː/
ancient (Ptolemy) Andromeda (mythological character)
Antlia
/ˈæntliə/
Ant Antl Antliae
/ˈæntliː.iː/
1763, Lacaille air pump
Apus
/ˈeɪpəs/
Aps Apus Apodis
/ˈæpədɨs/
1603, Uranometria, created by Keyser and de Houtman bird of paradise
Aquarius
/əˈkwɛəriəs/
Aqr Aqar Aquarii
/əˈkwɛəriaɪ/
ancient (Ptolemy) water-bearer
Aquila
/ˈækwɨlə/
Aql Aqil Aquilae
/ˈækwɨliː/
ancient (Ptolemy) eagle
Ara
/ˈɛərə/
Ara Arae Arae
/ˈɛəriː/
ancient (Ptolemy) altar
Aries
Ari Arie Arietis
/əˈraɪɨtɨs/
ancient (Ptolemy) ram
Auriga
/ɔːˈraɪgə/
Aur Auri Aurigae
/ɔːˈraɪdʒiː/
ancient (Ptolemy) charioteer
Boötes
/boʊˈoʊtiːz/
Boo Boot Boötis
/boʊˈoʊtɨs/
ancient (Ptolemy) herdsman
Caelum
/ˈsiːləm/
Cae Cael Caeli
/ˈsiːlaɪ/
1763, Lacaille sculptor's chisel
Camelopardalis
/kəˌmɛləˈpɑrdəlɨs/
Cam Caml Camelopardalis
1613, Plancius giraffe
Cancer
/ˈkænsɚ/
Cnc Canc Cancri
/ˈkæŋkraɪ/
ancient (Ptolemy) crab
Canes Venatici
CVn CVen Canum Venaticorum
1690, Firmamentum Sobiescianum, Hevelius hunting dogs
Canis Major
CMa CMaj Canis Majoris
ancient (Ptolemy) greater dog
Canis Minor
CMi CMin Canis Minoris
ancient (Ptolemy) lesser dog
Capricornus
/ˌkæprɨˈkɔrnəs/
Cap Capr Capricorni
/ˌkæprɨˈkɔrnaɪ/
ancient (Ptolemy) goat (originally a sea-goat)
Carina
/kəˈraɪnə/
Car Cari Carinae
/kəˈraɪniː/
1763, Lacaille, split from Argo Navis keel
Cassiopeia
/ˌkæsiəˈpiːə/
Cas Cass Cassiopeɪae
/ˌkæsiəˈpiː.iː/
ancient (Ptolemy) Cassiopeia (mythological character)
Centaurus
/sɛnˈtɔːrəs/
Cen Cent Centauri
/sɛnˈtɔːraɪ/
ancient (Ptolemy) centaur
Cepheus
Cep Ceph Cepheɪ
/ˈsiːfiaɪ/
ancient (Ptolemy) Cepheus (mythological character)
Cetus
/ˈsiːtəs/
Cet Ceti Ceti
/ˈsiːtaɪ/
ancient (Ptolemy) sea monster (later interpreted as a whale)
Chamaeleon
/kəˈmiːliən/
Cha Cham Chamaeleontis
/kəˌmiːliˈɒntɨs/
1603, Uranometria, created by Keyser and de Houtman chameleon
Circinus
/ˈsɝːsɨnəs/
Cir Circ Circini
/ˈsɝːsɨnaɪ/
1763, Lacaille pair of dividers (drawing tool)
Columba
/kəˈlʌmbə/
Col Colm Columbae
/kɒˈlʌmbiː/
1592, Plancius, split from Canis Major Noah's dove
Coma Berenices
Com Coma Comae Berenices
1603, Uranometria, split from Leo Berenice's hair
Corona Australis
CrA CorA Coronae Australis
ancient (Ptolemy) southern crown
Corona Borealis
CrB CorB Coronae Borealis
ancient (Ptolemy) northern crown
Corvus
/ˈkɔrvəs/
Crv Corv Corvi
/ˈkɔrvaɪ/
ancient (Ptolemy) crow
Crater
/ˈkreɪtɚ/
Crt Crat Crateris
/krəˈtiːrɨs/
ancient (Ptolemy) cup
Crux
/ˈkrʌks/
Cru Cruc Crucis
/ˈkruːsɨs/
1603, Uranometria, split from Centaurus southern cross
Cygnus
/ˈsɪgnəs/
Cyg Cygn Cygni
/ˈsɪgnaɪ/
ancient (Ptolemy) swan
Delphinus
/dɛlˈfaɪnəs/
Del Dlph Delphini
/dɛlˈfaɪnaɪ/
ancient (Ptolemy) dolphin (mammal)
Dorado
/dɒˈreɪdoʊ/
Dor Dora Doradus
/dɒˈreɪdəs/
1603, Uranometria, created by Keyser and de Houtman gold fish
Draco
/ˈdreɪkoʊ/
Dra Drac Draconis
/drəˈkoʊnɨs/
ancient (Ptolemy) dragon
Equuleus
/ɨˈkwuːliəs/
Equ Equl Equulei
/ɨˈkwuːliaɪ/
ancient (Ptolemy) little horse (foal)
Eridanus
/ɨˈrɪdənəs/
Eri Erid Eridani
/ɨˈrɪdənaɪ/
ancient (Ptolemy) river Eridanus (mythology)
Fornax
/ˈfɔrnæks/
For Forn Fornacis
/fɔrˈneɪsɨs/
1763, Lacaille chemical furnace
Gemini
/ˈdʒɛmɨnaɪ/
Gem Gemi Geminorum
/ˌdʒɛmɨˈnɒrəm/
ancient (Ptolemy) twins
Grus
/ˈgrʌs/
Gru Grus Gruis
/ˈgruːɨs/
1603, Uranometria, created by Keyser and de Houtman crane (bird)
Hercules
/ˈhɝːkjəliːz/
Her Herc Herculis
/ˈhɝːkjʊlɨs/
ancient (Ptolemy) Hercules (mythological character)
Horologium
Hor Horo Horologii
/ˌhɒrəˈloʊdʒiaɪ/
1763, Lacaille pendulum clock
Hydra
/ˈhaɪdrə/
Hya Hyda Hydrae
/ˈhaɪdriː/
ancient (Ptolemy) Hydra (mythological creature)
Hydrus
/ˈhaɪdrəs/
Hyi Hydi Hydri
/ˈhaɪdraɪ/
1603, Uranometria, created by Keyser and de Houtman lesser water snake
Indus
/ˈɪndəs/
Ind Indi Indi
/ˈɪndaɪ/
1603, Uranometria, created by Keyser and de Houtman Indian (native American)
Lacerta
/ləˈsɝːtə/
Lac Lacr Lacertae
/ləˈsɝːtiː/
1690, Firmamentum Sobiescianum, Hevelius lizard
Leo
/ˈliːoʊ/
Leo Leon Leonis
/liːˈoʊnɨs/
ancient (Ptolemy) lion
Leo Minor
LMi LMin Leonis Minoris
1690, Firmamentum Sobiescianum, Hevelius lesser lion
Lepus
/ˈliːpəs/
Lep Leps Leporis
/ˈlɛpərɨs/
ancient (Ptolemy) hare
Libra
Lib Libr Librae
/ˈlaɪbriː/
ancient (Ptolemy) balance
Lupus
/ˈljuːpəs/
Lup Lupi Lupi
/ˈljuːpaɪ/
ancient (Ptolemy) wolf
Lynx
/ˈlɪŋks/
Lyn Lync Lyncis
/ˈlɪnsɨs/
1690, Firmamentum Sobiescianum, Hevelius lynx
Lyra
/ˈlaɪrə/
Lyr Lyra Lyrae
/ˈlaɪriː/
ancient (Ptolemy) lyre
Mensa
/ˈmɛnsə/
Men Mens Mensae
/ˈmɛnsiː/
1763, Lacaille Table Mountain (South Africa)
Microscopium
/ˌmaɪkrəˈskɒpiəm/
Mic Micr Microscopii
/ˌmaɪkrəˈskoʊpiaɪ/
1763, Lacaille microscope
Monoceros
/məˈnɒsərəs/
Mon Mono Monocerotis
/məˌnɒsəˈroʊtɨs/
1613, Plancius unicorn
Musca
/ˈmʌskə/
Mus Musc Muscae
/ˈmʌsiː/
1603, Uranometria, created by Keyser and de Houtman fly
Norma
/ˈnɔrmə/
Nor Norm Normae
/ˈnɔrmiː/
1763, Lacaille carpenter's rule and square
Octans
/ˈɒktænz/
Oct Octn Octantis
/ɒkˈtæntɨs/
1763, Lacaille mariner's octant
Ophiuchus
/ˌɒfiˈjuːkəs/
Oph Ophi Ophiuchi
/ˌɒfiˈjuːkaɪ/
ancient (Ptolemy) serpent-holder
Orion
/ɒˈraɪ.ən/
Ori Orio Orionis
ancient (Ptolemy) Orion (mythological character)
Pavo
/ˈpeɪvoʊ/
Pav Pavo Pavonis
/pəˈvoʊnɨs/
1603, Uranometria, created by Keyser and de Houtman peacock
Pegasus
/ˈpɛgəsəs/
Peg Pegs Pegasi
/ˈpɛgəsaɪ/
ancient (Ptolemy) Pegasus (mythological winged horse)
Perseus
Per Pers Persei
/ˈpɝːsi.aɪ/
ancient (Ptolemy) Perseus (mythological character)
Phoenix
/ˈfiːnɨks/
Phe Phoe Phoenicis
/fɨˈnaɪsɨs/
1603, Uranometria, created by Keyser and de Houtman phoenix
Pictor
/ˈpɪktɚ/
Pic Pict Pictoris
/pɪkˈtɔərɨs/
1763, Lacaille painter's easel
Pisces
Psc Pisc Piscium
/ˈpɪʃiəm/
ancient (Ptolemy) fishes
Piscis Austrinus
PsA PscA Piscis Austrini
ancient (Ptolemy) southern fish
Puppis
/ˈpʌpɨs/
Pup Pupp Puppis
/ˈpʌpɨs/
1763, Lacaille, split from Argo Navis poop deck
Pyxis
/ˈpɪksɨs/
Pyx Pyxi Pyxidis
/ˈpɪksədɨs/
1763, Lacaille ship's compass
Reticulum
/rɨˈtɪkjʊləm/
Ret Reti Reticuli
/rɨˈtɪkjʊlaɪ/
1763, Lacaille eyepiece graticule
Sagitta
/səˈdʒɪtə/
Sge Sgte Sagittae
/səˈdʒɪtiː/
ancient (Ptolemy) arrow
Sagittarius
/sædʒɨˈtɛəriəs/
Sgr Sgtr Sagittarii
/ˌsædʒəˈtɛəriaɪ/
ancient (Ptolemy) archer
Scorpius
/ˈskɔrpiəs/
Sco Scor Scorpii
/ˈskɔrpiaɪ/
ancient (Ptolemy) scorpion
Sculptor
/ˈskʌlptɚ/
Scl Scul Sculptoris
/skəlpˈtɒrɨs/
1763, Lacaille sculptor's workshop
Scutum
/ˈskjuːtəm/
Sct Scut Scuti
/ˈskjuːtaɪ/
1690, Firmamentum Sobiescianum, Hevelius shield (of Sobieski)
Serpens
/ˈsɝːpɛnz/
Ser Serp Serpentis
/sɚˈpɛntɨs/
ancient (Ptolemy) snake
Sextans
/ˈsɛkstənz/
Sex Sext Sextantis
/sɛksˈtæntɨs/
1690, Firmamentum Sobiescianum, Hevelius astronomical sextant
Taurus
/ˈtɔːrəs/
Tau Taur Tauri
/ˈtɔːraɪ/
ancient (Ptolemy) bull
Telescopium
/ˌtɛlɨˈskɒpiəm/
Tel Tele Telescopii
/ˌtɛlɨˈskɒpiaɪ/
1763, Lacaille telescope
Triangulum
/traɪˈæŋgjʊləm/
Tri Tria Trianguli
/traɪˈæŋgjʊlaɪ/
ancient (Ptolemy) triangle
Triangulum Australe
TrA TrAu Trianguli Australis
1603 Uranometria, created by Keyser and de Houtman southern triangle
Tucana
/tjʊˈkeɪnə/
Tuc Tucn Tucanae
/tjʊˈkeɪniː/
1603 Uranometria, created by Keyser and de Houtman toucan
Ursa Major
UMa UMaj Ursae Majoris
ancient (Ptolemy) Great Bear
Ursa Minor
UMi UMin Ursae Minoris
ancient (Ptolemy) Lesser Bear
Vela
/ˈviːlə/
Vel Velr Velorum
/vɨˈlɔərəm/
1763, Lacaille, split from Argo Navis sails
Virgo
/ˈvɝːgoʊ/
Vir Virg Virginis
/ˈvɝːdʒənɨs/
ancient (Ptolemy) virgin
Volans
/ˈvoʊlænz/
Vol Voln Volantis
/vɒˈlæntɨs/
1603, Uranometria, created by Keyser and de Houtman flying fish
Vulpecula
/vʌlˈpɛkjʊlə/
Vul Vulp Vulpeculae
/vʌlˈpɛkjʊliː/
1690, Firmamentum Sobiescianum, Hevelius fox
Notes:

Former constellations

Some constellations are no longer recognized by the International Astronomical Union, but may appear in older star charts and other references. Most notable is Argo Navis, which was one of Ptolemy's original 48 constellations.

Asterisms

Various other unofficial patterns have existed alongside the constellations. These are known as "asterisms." Examples include the Big Dipper and the Northern Cross. Some ancient asterisms, for example Coma Berenices, Serpens, and portions of Argo Navis, are now officially constellations.

See also

External links

  • http://www.ianridpath.com/constellations1.htm
  • http://www.ianridpath.com/startales/contents.htm

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