The term “constellation” has changed its meaning at different times. A constellation is now defined as a region of the celestial sphere that comprises certain stars.
Astronomy is a science that has its roots in the distant past. In ancient times, people were actively interested in it, mostly travelers; for them, orientation by the stars was a necessity. The ancient world’s scientists were interested in the starry sky, although their understanding was limited compared to current experts. The totality of knowledge of those days is difficult to call science, relatively would fit the definition – knowledge of the world.
The people of that era stared up into the night sky and mentally linked the stars with lines, creating various imaginative forms. A set of stars was called constellations. The system developed was complex and imperfect because of the lack of organization. There was often confusion because sometimes certain stars were included in several constellations, while other celestial elements were neglected and often forgotten. In addition, it was hard to store and systematize the known information in ancient times.
A unified system was developed only in 1922. The International Astronomical Union decided to split the sky into several sections on a conditional basis. The Union approved the creation of the 88 constellations. Below is a list of the 10 most famous constellations in the sky.
Dragon is one of the most famous constellations in the sky. Its dimensions can amaze anyone, and its area is 1083 square degrees. The constellation is located in the Northern Hemisphere between the Big Dipper and the Little Dipper; unfortunately, it is very problematic to see it. The stars that are part of the Dragon are not bright, and their light is weak and dim.
It may be found in the Big Dipper’s zone in the night sky. The drawn curved line ends in a quadrangle – the head of the Dragon, the body is a little farther away. From May to December, summer and autumn are the greatest times to observe the Dragon.
Myths and stories surround the origins of its appearance. One of the most frequent interpretations of its appearance is a wild and ferocious monster wanting to fight the Olympic gods. The goddess Athena did not excuse him and tossed him into the sky, where he chose to stay.
Cepheus’ location is in the Northern Hemisphere, with an area equal to 588 square degrees. 148 components are available for anyone who desire to observe the beauty. The constellation is arranged in the shape of an irregular pentagon next to the Little Dipper, which makes it easy to find.
Cepheus has no stars with a brilliant, rich light. Scientists have calculated that the constellation will relocate to the north pole in the future, which they believe will occur in one thousand years.
Centaurus is a large constellation located in an area equal to 1060 square degrees, including a huge number of stars. Residents of the Northern Hemisphere will be unable to admire the spectacular view since it is unavailable to them.
The constellation is located in the Southern Hemisphere, and the reference point is a straight line connecting the Big Dipper to the constellation Virgo. You may use the secret of observing: the closer a constellation is to the south, the more clearly it is seen.
The name Centaurus was not created accidentally; the prototype personified the Greek mythological heroes known as Centaurs. The most renowned legend is that the centaur that went to heaven was Hiron, an eternal and clever centaur. The name often appears in films and literature.
Virgo is the second-largest of the most famous constellations in the sky, with an area of 1,294 square degrees. It’s between Leo and Libra, on the equator. Its favor stems from the fact that it is the location of the autumnal equinox.
The constellation is illustrated in ancient atlases as a young girl holding a tiny ear of wheat in her hands. Modern people find it difficult to visualize such a picture in the sky; to do so, you’ll need a lot of creativity and unusual thinking.
The star of first magnitude Spica, one of the brightest among the stars and is ranked sixteenth, serves as a search reference point. Virgo has a total of 171 stars in its constellation.
Its origins are described in mythologies, with one legend saying that it is the goddess of justice, Dika. She left the Earth because of crimes against humanity, and now she is at peace in heaven, where she chose the component of justice, Libra, as a neighbor.
Hydra is the number one in length, with an area equal to 1,300 square degrees. The location is Southern Hemisphere. There are a vast number of known stars in the lineup, including Alpha Hydra, Xi Hydra, Gamma, and a large number of small, dispersed clusters.
The original image is the Water Serpent, thrown by the angry Apollo. Another version says that Hydra is the worst enemy of Heracles, over whom he won an undeniable victory thanks to his cunning and ingenuity.
Cassiopeia is located in the Northern Hemisphere. Thanks to this position, the inhabitants of the middle latitudes can admire the cluster of stars throughout the year. Autumn is the best time to observe it. The constellation is 598 square degrees in size and resembles an English W. A total of 90 stars may be seen, including the five most prominent and brightest stars.
The name was derived from the wife of King Cepheus. Also, Cassiopeia is the mother of Andromeda. She was a braggart, and she was punished for it. The punishment consisted of tying the queen to a throne revolving around the pole. Once a day, Cassiopeia was upside down, her head down.
Pegasus is a prominent constellation located in the Northern Hemisphere, with an area of 1,120.8 square degrees. 166 stars are noticeable even without the usage of specialized telescopes. The best time to observe it is at the end of summer and the fall period.
Pegasus is a large square with tiny dots that closely resemble tentacles. The horse will show up in all its glory for people with a good imagination.
According to legend, blood drips from the beheaded Medusa Gorgon turned into a horse. In the myths of ancient Greece, Pegasus was a horse with wings capable of flying in the clouds.
Hercules is located in the Southern Hemisphere. Its area is equal to 1225 square degrees. All of the components of this star cluster may be seen when you stare at it. The torso is shaped like a trapezoid and is recognizable in the sky.
Kneeling was the name given to the constellation initially. The constellation was described as a suffering spouse by Aratus, a famous ancient poet. There is no mention of the causes of suffering anywhere, and there is no information about it in any source. The old name was changed to Hercules only in the 5th century B.C.
Perhaps the Big Dipper can be rightfully called the one of most famous constellations in the sky. Its location is in the Northern Hemisphere. People searched for the elusive Ladle, and they were successful in their efforts. It is the third-largest constellation with an area of 1,280 square degrees. Without equipment, it is possible to observe the 125 stars that form the Big Dipper.
The story of the appearance is described in detail in ancient Greek myths. The most prevalent version is that Zeus decided to save the magnificent nymph Callisto, who was angered by the goddess Hera. To protect the beauty, Zeus turned her into a Dipper.
Ursa Minor is perhaps the most famous constellation in the sky. It is a near-polar constellation, and its location is in the Northern Hemisphere. It is simple to find the constellation by concentrating on the Big Dipper. They’re the kind of neighbors who can be admired throughout the year. This is where the world’s the North Pole is actually situated. Other well-known names for this group of stars include Little Ladle and Guardians of the Pole.
According to legend, Little Dipper is the dog companion of the beautiful nymph Calypso. Both were transformed and thrown into heaven by Zeus. This granted them eternal life, and they now look down on our globe from above.