Constellation

  • orion constellation hevelius.jpg
    orion iau.svgorioncc.jpg
    • top: baroque drawing of the constellation orion from johannes hevelius' celestial catalogue, showing the stars as they would appear to an observer looking down upon the imaginary celestial sphere from the outside
    • bottom: contemporary map of orion from the iau and photography of the night sky with drawn lines

    a constellation is an area on the celestial sphere in which a group of stars forms an imaginary outline or pattern, typically representing an animal, mythological person or creature, or an inanimate object.[1]

    the origins of the earliest constellations likely go back to prehistory. people used them to relate stories of their beliefs, experiences, creation, or mythology. different cultures and countries adopted their own constellations, some of which lasted into the early 20th century before today's constellations were internationally recognized. the recognition of constellations has changed significantly over time. many have changed in size or shape. some became popular, only to drop into obscurity. others were limited to a single culture or nation.

    the 48 traditional western constellations are greek. they are given in aratus' work phenomena and ptolemy's almagest, though their origin probably predates these works by several centuries. constellations in the far southern sky were added from the 15th century until the mid-18th century when european explorers began traveling to the southern hemisphere. twelve ancient constellations belong to the zodiac (straddling the ecliptic, which the sun, moon, and planets all traverse). the origins of the zodiac remain historically uncertain; its astrological divisions became prominent c. 400 bc in babylonian or chaldean astronomy.[2]

    in 1922, the international astronomical union (iau) formally accepted the modern list of 88 constellations, and in 1928 adopted official constellation boundaries that together cover the entire celestial sphere.[3][4] any given point in a celestial coordinate system lies in one of the modern constellations. some astronomical naming systems include the constellation where a given celestial object is found to convey its approximate location in the sky. the flamsteed designation of a star, for example, consists of a number and the genitive form of the constellation name.

    other star patterns or groups called asterisms are not constellations per se, but are used by observers to navigate the night sky. asterisms may be several stars within a constellation, or they may share stars with more than one constellation. examples of asterisms include the pleiades and hyades within the constellation taurus and the false cross split between the southern constellations carina and vela, or venus' mirror in the constellation of orion.[5][6]

  • terminology
  • identification
  • history of the early constellations
  • early modern astronomy
  • dark cloud constellations
  • see also
  • references
  • further reading
  • external links

Orion constellation Hevelius.jpg
Orion IAU.svgOrionCC.jpg
  • Top: Baroque drawing of the constellation Orion from Johannes Hevelius' Celestial catalogue, showing the stars as they would appear to an observer looking down upon the imaginary celestial sphere from the outside
  • Bottom: Contemporary map of Orion from the IAU and photography of the night sky with drawn lines

A constellation is an area on the celestial sphere in which a group of stars forms an imaginary outline or pattern, typically representing an animal, mythological person or creature, or an inanimate object.[1]

The origins of the earliest constellations likely go back to prehistory. People used them to relate stories of their beliefs, experiences, creation, or mythology. Different cultures and countries adopted their own constellations, some of which lasted into the early 20th century before today's constellations were internationally recognized. The recognition of constellations has changed significantly over time. Many have changed in size or shape. Some became popular, only to drop into obscurity. Others were limited to a single culture or nation.

The 48 traditional Western constellations are Greek. They are given in Aratus' work Phenomena and Ptolemy's Almagest, though their origin probably predates these works by several centuries. Constellations in the far southern sky were added from the 15th century until the mid-18th century when European explorers began traveling to the Southern Hemisphere. Twelve ancient constellations belong to the zodiac (straddling the ecliptic, which the Sun, Moon, and planets all traverse). The origins of the zodiac remain historically uncertain; its astrological divisions became prominent c. 400 BC in Babylonian or Chaldean astronomy.[2]

In 1922, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) formally accepted the modern list of 88 constellations, and in 1928 adopted official constellation boundaries that together cover the entire celestial sphere.[3][4] Any given point in a celestial coordinate system lies in one of the modern constellations. Some astronomical naming systems include the constellation where a given celestial object is found to convey its approximate location in the sky. The Flamsteed designation of a star, for example, consists of a number and the genitive form of the constellation name.

Other star patterns or groups called asterisms are not constellations per se, but are used by observers to navigate the night sky. Asterisms may be several stars within a constellation, or they may share stars with more than one constellation. Examples of asterisms include the Pleiades and Hyades within the constellation Taurus and the False Cross split between the southern constellations Carina and Vela, or Venus' Mirror in the constellation of Orion.[5][6]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Sterrebeeld
Alemannisch: Sternbild
العربية: كوكبة
armãneashti: Constelație
asturianu: Constelación
Avañe'ẽ: Mbyjaty
azərbaycanca: Bürc
Bân-lâm-gú: Seng-chō
башҡортса: Йондоҙлоҡ
беларуская: Сузор’е
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Сузор’е
български: Съзвездие
Boarisch: Steanbuid
bosanski: Sazviježđe
brezhoneg: Steredeg
Чӑвашла: Çăлтăрлăх
čeština: Souhvězdí
Cymraeg: Cytser
davvisámegiella: Nástegovva
Deutsch: Sternbild
eesti: Tähtkuju
Ελληνικά: Αστερισμός
español: Constelación
Esperanto: Konstelacio
euskara: Konstelazio
فارسی: صورت فلکی
français: Constellation
Gaeilge: Réaltbhuíon
Gàidhlig: Reul-bhad
ગુજરાતી: નક્ષત્ર
客家語/Hak-kâ-ngî: Sên-chho
한국어: 별자리
हिन्दी: तारामंडल
hrvatski: Zviježđe
Ido: Stelaro
Bahasa Indonesia: Rasi bintang
interlingua: Constellation
íslenska: Stjörnumerki
italiano: Costellazione
Kiswahili: Kundinyota
Kreyòl ayisyen: Konstelasyon
kurdî: Komstêr
Кыргызча: Топ жылдыз
Latina: Constellatio
latviešu: Zvaigznājs
Lëtzebuergesch: Stärebild
lietuvių: Žvaigždynas
Limburgs: Starebeeld
lingála: Nzɔ́tɔ
Lingua Franca Nova: Constela
magyar: Csillagkép
македонски: Соѕвездие
Malagasy: Antokon-kintana
مازِرونی: فلکی صورتون
Bahasa Melayu: Buruj
Mìng-dĕ̤ng-ngṳ̄: Sĭng-cô̤
မြန်မာဘာသာ: ကြယ်အုပ်စု
Nāhuatl: Miaccītlalli
Nederlands: Sterrenbeeld
Nedersaksies: Konstelloatsie
नेपाली: तारामण्डल
日本語: 星座
Nordfriisk: Stäärbil
norsk nynorsk: Stjernebilete
Nouormand: Constellâtion
Novial: Stelaro
occitan: Constellacion
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਖਿੱਤੀਆਂ
پنجابی: تارہ چرمٹ
Piemontèis: Costelassion
Plattdüütsch: Steernbild
português: Constelação
română: Constelație
Runa Simi: Warani
русский: Созвездие
sicilianu: Custiddazzioni
Simple English: Constellation
slovenčina: Súhvezdie
slovenščina: Ozvezdje
српски / srpski: Сазвежђе
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Sazviježđe
suomi: Tähdistö
svenska: Stjärnbild
Tagalog: Konstelasyon
Taqbaylit: Tazdemt
татарча/tatarça: Йолдызлык
Türkçe: Takımyıldız
українська: Сузір'я
ئۇيغۇرچە / Uyghurche: 12 بۇرج
Tiếng Việt: Chòm sao
walon: Stoelreye
文言: 星座
Winaray: Constelasyon
吴语: 星座
粵語: 星座
中文: 星座