Constellations

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A red giant star ranges from 62 million to 621 million miles in diameter, or 100 to 1,000 times the size of the sun. However, red giants have cooler temperatures than the sun because the energy travels over a larger surface area.

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  • How Many Stars Make up Pegasus?

    Q: How Many Stars Make up Pegasus?

    A: The constellation Pegasus contains at least 16 stars of magnitude 4 or brighter. Three of the four stars in the Great Square belong to Pegasus. Alpheratz, the star at the northeast corner of the square, was designated as the alpha star of the constellation Andromeda.
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  • How Many Stars Make up the Little Dipper?

    Q: How Many Stars Make up the Little Dipper?

    A: The Little Dipper is made up of seven stars. Unfortunately, unless a person lives in an area of the world that is not blinded by city lights, seeing more than one or two may be impossible.
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  • Which Star Is the Brightest?

    Q: Which Star Is the Brightest?

    A: The brightest star visible from Earth is the sun. Though it is not exceptionally bright by the standards of other stars, its relative proximity to Earth makes it, by far, the brightest object in the sky, with an apparent magnitude of -26.74.
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  • How Far Is the Constellation Gemini From Earth?

    Q: How Far Is the Constellation Gemini From Earth?

    A: The constellation Gemini contains 85 major stars that vary in their distances from Earth. The closest star to Earth, Gliese 251, is around 17.99 light years from Earth.
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  • How Many Stars Are There in the Pisces Constellation?

    Q: How Many Stars Are There in the Pisces Constellation?

    A: The constellation Pisces is made up of 21 main stars, according to Universe Today. The constellation is the 14th largest constellation, and contains as many as 86 minor stars and other deep-sky objects within its confines.
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  • What Is a Pattern in the Stars Called?

    Q: What Is a Pattern in the Stars Called?

    A: A pattern in the stars is called a constellation. According to the Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network, the sky is divided into 88 official constellation groups. The constellation groups are referred to as asterisms.
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  • How Did the Constellation Leo Get Its Name?

    Q: How Did the Constellation Leo Get Its Name?

    A: The word "Leo" means lion in Latin. The constellation originally represented the ferocious Nemean lion that Hercules strangled to death as one of his 12 labors. According to legend, Zeus was impressed enough to make both of them constellations. Leo is not just a constellation, but one of the 12 constellations that make up the Zodiac. Unlike many constellations, Leo does look something like the creature it depicts.
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  • How Big Is a Red Giant Star?

    Q: How Big Is a Red Giant Star?

    A: A red giant star ranges from 62 million to 621 million miles in diameter, or 100 to 1,000 times the size of the sun. However, red giants have cooler temperatures than the sun because the energy travels over a larger surface area.
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  • What Are the Most Famous Constellations?

    Q: What Are the Most Famous Constellations?

    A: According to Sky-Watch, two of the most famous constellations are Ursa Major, the big bear, and Orion, the hunter. Ursa Major stands out because it contains the well-known Big Dipper. Orion is popular because it is near the equator and can be seen from any place on the planet.
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  • Can You See All the Constellations at the Equator?

    Q: Can You See All the Constellations at the Equator?

    A: An observer at the equator will see all of the constellations during the course of one year. The polar constellations Polaris and the Southern Cross appear near the horizon, while the rest pass overhead based on the season.
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  • Q: Where Is the North Star?

    A: As of 2014, Polaris, the North Star, is found at right ascension 2 hours, 31 minutes, 48.7 seconds and declination +89 degrees, 15 minutes, 51 seconds. It is found almost directly over the North Pole and seems to stand still while all the other stars circle around it.
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  • Q: What Is a Group of Stars in the Sky Called?

    A: A group of stars in the sky that can be viewed from the Earth is known as a constellation. There are 88 known constellations that exist in the sky.
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  • Q: Who Named the Stars Vega and Rigel?

    A: While no specific person is credited with naming the stars Vega and Rigel, both derive their name from Arabic terms. Rigel is one of the first stars to receive an Arabic name, possibly as early as the 10th century, while written records of Vega's name trace back to between 1215 to 1270 A.D. Rigel's scientific name is Beta Orionis, while Vega is known as either Alpha Lyrae or Lucida Lyrae.
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  • What Do You Call a Group of Stars?

    Q: What Do You Call a Group of Stars?

    A: People typically refer to groups of stars in a pattern as constellations, but the accurate term is asterism; scientists refer to actual groups of stars as clusters and group individual stars by light magnitude. Because constellations are the standard observation grouping, astronomers refer to constellations when naming stars.
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  • Q: Who Discovered the Scorpius Constellation?

    A: The discovery of the Scorpius constellation is credited to the famous Greco-Egyptian astronomer Claudius Ptolemy. He documented it in the 2nd century CE. However, civilizations predating the Greeks may have known about Scorpius. Roughly 3,000 years before Ptolemy, it was known as "The Scorpion" by the Babylonians.
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  • Q: What Are Some Interesting Facts About Cassiopeia?

    A: Some interesting facts about Cassiopeia are that she was the wife of Cepheus, the King of Ethiopia. Together, they were the parents of Andromeda, a girl known for her beauty. Cassiopeia was also a beautiful woman, but possessed of such vanity that she bragged that she was more beautiful than the Nereids. These sea nymphs were not only beautiful, but also the daughters of Nereus, a god of the sea.
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  • Q: What Are Some Facts About the Aries Constellation?

    A: Aries is a mid-sized constellation also known as the "Ram," to many cultures. The Latin meaning of the term Aries means "The ram." The symbol of the constellation is a sign representing a Ram's horns. There are 88 modern-day constellations, and Aries ranks number 39.
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  • Q: Where Can You Find Star Maps That Show Constellations?

    A: Star maps with constellations may be found on stargazing.net, astroviewer.com and stardate.org. Neave.com also offers an interactive online planetarium that includes constellations and can be customized to display images based on the user's location.
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  • Q: Where Did Constellations Come From?

    A: Constellations came from the imaginations of people who looked up at the stars and saw patterns that they ascribed to their gods, goddesses, heroes and figures from their mythologies. Although scientists don't know who the very first people to set up constellations were, there are indications that at least a handful of constellations were in place as early as 4000 B.C.
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  • Q: What Makes Stars Shine?

    A: Stars shine because high temperatures and intense pressure at the core induces nuclear fusion, which releases energy in the form of light. Nuclear fusion happens when two atoms fuse together and create a new atom.
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  • Q: During Which Months Can Orion Be Seen?

    A: The constellation Orion can be seen between the months of November and February. Orion is made up of seven stars, with two forming the shoulders, three forming the belt and two forming the feet.
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