Q:

What are the most famous constellations?

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Quick Answer

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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What are the most famous constellations?
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Full Answer

Orion and Ursa Major are famous because they have some of the brightest stars in the sky. The Big Dipper is an asterism, a recognizable collection of stars that is not one of the official constellations. All of the stars in the Big Dipper shine equally, which makes it give off a uniform bright light that is distinctly in the shape of a scoop with a handle. Ursae Majoris and beta Ursae Majoris are two very bright stars in the Big Dipper that point to the brightest star in the sky, Polaris. The two brightest stars in Orion are called Rigel and Betelgeuse. Rigel is a red giant located in Orion's foot, and Betelgeuse is a blue star that can be found in Orion's shoulder. Three bright stars in Orion create the shape of his belt. Two less bright stars form a sword that hangs off of the belt. The double-star, delta Orionis, is on the far right part of the belt.

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