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 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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  • 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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  • What is the North Star?

    Q: What is the North Star?

    A: The North Star is another name for the star Polaris. It is called the North Star because its location in the Northern Hemisphere remains constant throughout the year as other stars seem to move around it.
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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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  • 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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  • 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 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 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 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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  • 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: 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: 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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  • Q: What are some facts about the constellation Leo?

    A: The constellation Leo has been known since antiquity and was included as one of the constellations of Ptolemy's zodiac in the 2nd century CE. In the Northern Hemisphere, Leo rises above the horizon on or around the first day of spring.
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  • Q: What are the names of the stars in the Libra constellation?

    A: The Libra constellation is defined by its brightest stars Alpha Librae (α Lib or Zubenelgenubi), Beta Librae (β Lib or Zubeneschamali ), and Gamma Librae (γ Lib or Zubenelakrab). It also plays host to other double, binary, and variable stars.
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  • Q: Where is Pisces located in the sky?

    A: Pisces, one of the dimmest constellations of the zodiac, lays just north of the celestial equator. It is located east of the constellation Aquarius, south of Andromeda and Pegasus, west of Aries and north of Cetus. For stargazers in the Northern Hemisphere, Pisces is visible before midnight from August through February. Its highlights include a circlet of stars marking the western fish's head and the 10th magnitude spiral galaxy M74.
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  • What are the 12 zodiac symbols?

    Q: What are the 12 zodiac symbols?

    A: The 12 commonly accepted zodiac signs are Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces. These are constellations, or groups of stars, that ring the Earth and appear to be overhead during each successive month.
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  • Q: How did the constellation Draco get its name?

    A: Draco is derived from a Greek word meaning dragon; early astronomers observed that its shape resembled a dragon. This constellation is the eighth largest in the sky. Draco contains mostly dim stars arranged in a serpentine pattern running between the constellations Ursa Major and Ursa Minor.
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  • Q: What is the largest constellation?

    A: Hydra, spanning 1303 square degrees of the sky, is the largest constellation. Hydra is located in the skies of the southern hemisphere and was first named by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy in the second century.
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  • Q: What are some facts about the Scorpius constellation?

    A: Scorpius is the 33rd-largest constellation and lies between Libra and Sagittarius near the center of the Milky Way galaxy. The scorpion-shaped constellation covers 497 square degrees in the third quadrant of the Southern Hemisphere. For viewers in the Northern Hemisphere, Scorpius appears to sit near the southern horizon, while it sits high in the sky for viewers from the Southern Hemisphere.
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