Fixed groups of stars are constellations. Constellation names are often given based on an object that the stars resemble when grouped. The names are subjective, such as Orion the Hunter. Though the stars in constellations appear close together, many stars within a constellation are great distances away from each other.Continue Reading
There are 88 official constellations in the night sky. Many constellations have names derived from Ancient Greek mythology. Other constellations have names from Roman mythology and signs of the Zodiac. Groupings of stars that do not have official recognition but are still recognized by common knowledge, such as the Big Dipper, are called asterisms.
The stars within a constellation have a ranking based on the brightness of the star, using the Greek alphabet. The alpha star is the brightest star.Learn more about Constellations
Most constellation maps, or star charts, are circular and labelled with the four cardinal directions and the names of constellations and their major stars. Star charts are also marked with the time of year they represent as well as the viewing latitude they represent.Full Answer >
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.Full Answer >
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.Full Answer >
Hands-on projects and telling the myth behind each constellation are fun and engaging ways to teach children about constellations. Have the children draw the constellation on black paper using a white or silver marker or help the children create a 3-D model of their favorite constellation using marshmallows as the stars and toothpicks as the lines that connect different stars.Full Answer >