A group of stars that form a pattern in the sky. A group of stars that form a pattern in the sky



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A group of stars that form a pattern in the sky.

  • A group of stars that form a pattern in the sky.





There are 88 constellations

  • There are 88 constellations

  • The constellations you see depend on your location, date, and time.

  • Most have legends, myths, or stories behind them.



Planisphere or Star Wheel

  • Planisphere or Star Wheel





  • Stars in the northern hemisphere appear to rotate around Polaris (the north star)

  • Polaris aligns with the axis of rotation for the Earth: The North Pole





As the Earth rotates on its axis its “celestial” north pole remains directly in line with Polaris.

  • As the Earth rotates on its axis its “celestial” north pole remains directly in line with Polaris.

  • This forms the circles seen in the previous photograph





Cassiopeia Orion

  • Cassiopeia Orion

  • Cygnus Ursa major

  • Scorpius Ursa minor

  • Draco





  • Brightest Star – Schedar

  • Best season to view – all year

  • The Myth:

  • Cassiopeia was the queen of Ethiopia. She was so proud of her beauty and bragged about it. She offended the sea god Poseidon. He sent a sea monster to attack her kingdom and teach her some humility.

  • According to the legend, the sea god Poseidon placed the figure of Cassiopeia among the stars to remind people of her vanity.





Brightest Star – Deneb

  • Brightest Star – Deneb

  • Best season to view – all year

  • The Myth:

  • One day three hunters were hiking through the forest when they came upon a clear lake. The lake was home to many birds including a beautiful snow goose. One hunter shot his bow and the snow goose fell into the lake. As the sky darkened, the spirit of the snow goose formed a constellation

  • in the sky.





Brightest Star – Antares

  • Brightest Star – Antares

  • Best season to view – summer

  • The Myth:

  • To the ancient Greeks, the constellation Scorpius was the image of a scorpion. The constellation was related to the death of the giant hunter Orion. There are several different stories about Orion's death. According to one story, Orion wanted to kill all the earth's wild animals, but the Earth goddess Gaia got angry because she made the animals.

  • The goddess sent a scorpion to attack Orion. The scorpion stung Orion to death with its tail. As a reward, Gaia changed the insect into a constellation.





Brightest Star – Rigel and Betelgeuse

  • Brightest Star – Rigel and Betelgeuse

  • Best season to view – the winter

  • The Myth:

  • Orion was a very good hunter, but also boastful. Gaia, the goddess of Earth, became fed up with Orion’s boast so she sent a deadly scorpion to kill the hunter. The scorpion ended Orion’s bragging. Both Orion and Scorpius were placed in the sky but to avoid any further battles, they are never in the sky at the same time. Orion is seen in the winter and Scorpius is seen in the summer.





Brightest Star – Dubhe and Merak

  • Brightest Star – Dubhe and Merak

  • Best season to view – all year

  • The Myth:

  • Zeus, king of the gods, fell in love with Callisto. Together they had a son, Arcas. Zeus changed Callisto into a bear to protect her from his jealous wife, Hera. When Arcas grew up, he almost shot his mother by mistake. Zeus protected Callisto by changing Arcas into another bear (Ursa Minor-Little Dipper) and placing both bears in the sky.



Ursa Minor, aka, Little Bear, contains the Little Dipper and the North Star, Polaris

  • Ursa Minor, aka, Little Bear, contains the Little Dipper and the North Star, Polaris



Brightest Star – Polaris

  • Brightest Star – Polaris

  • Best season to view – all year

  • Remember Zeus loved Callisto and changed her into a bear to protect her from his jealous wife. Arcas liked to hunt and almost killed his mother, Callisto, Big Bear. Zeus decided to also change Arcas into a bear to protect both his son and his lover. He placed both bears in the sky together.





Draco the dragon fought Minerva during the wars between the giants and the gods. Minerva threw Draco's twisted body into the heavens before it had time to unwind itself.

  • Draco the dragon fought Minerva during the wars between the giants and the gods. Minerva threw Draco's twisted body into the heavens before it had time to unwind itself.




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