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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  • 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 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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 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 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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 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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  • 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: When is the constellation Cygnus visible?

    A: The constellation Cygnus is best visible at 9 p.m. during the month of September in the northern hemisphere. It is known as the Northern Cross, as opposed to the Southern Cross. Cygnus is the Greek word for "swan."
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  • Q: Who named the constellation Leo?

    A: The zodiac constellation Leo was catalogued along with 47 other constellations in "Almagest" by the famous Greco-Egyptian astronomer Claudius Ptolemy in the second century AD. Many ancient cultures recognized the constellation, referring to it as "the lion" in their languages due to the shape formed when connecting its stars.
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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: 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: How many stars does Cancer have?

    A: The constellation Cancer has five stars: Acubens (Alpha Cnc), Altarf (Beta Cnc), Asellus Borealis (Gamma Cnc), Asellus Australis (Delta Cnc) and Tegmen (Zeta 1 Cnc). Cancer also contains two Messier objects: the M44 (Beehive cluster), a small star cluster containing 50 stars, and the M67, another open star cluster.
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  • Q: What is the temperature of the star Capella?

    A: While Capella appears to be a single star, it is actually a group of four stars that make up the sixth-brightest object in the night sky. The two stars that make up the brightest part of Capella have a surface temperature comparable to the Sun, about 4,900 degrees Kelvin.
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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: How were the constellations created?

    A: The constellations, which reflect mankind's earliest efforts to attach representative significance to what was seen in the night sky, were physically formed at the same time as the billions of other stars, but began to be named according to the patterns seen in their respective groupings around 2000 B.C. Scorpio the scorpion and Leo the lion are two of the earliest known names given to star groups. The Greeks began to name and document constellations in earnest beginning around 500 B.C.
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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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