Introduction

When ancient people were admiring the stars in the night sky, they envisioned different star designs by combining them.

Constellations are ancient star patterns that have been found and named recently. So far, 88 constellations have been identified. Let us look at a couple of them.

Henry Norris Russell published a list of 88 constellations and some essential abbreviations for them in 1922. The International Astronomical Union (IAU) formally recognized the current constellation system in 1928. 36 of the 88 are located mostly in the northern sky, while the remaining 52 are located primarily in the southern sky.

These present constellations are usually known after their Graeco-Roman ancestors, such as Orion, Leo, or Scorpius. This system’s goal is area-mapping, or dividing the celestial sphere into continuous fields.

When watching the stars in the night sky, it is critical to distinguish the directions. Directions may be discovered during the day by following the direction of the rising sun. Stand with your hands apart, facing the direction of the rising sun. Then, the front side is east, while the backside is west. The south is on your right, while the north is on your left.

When you are observing the night sky, you may utilize the buildings and towering trees to make your way around. The directions you identify during the day will assist you in this respect.

All of the stars in a constellation are on the same plane, as we can see. However, the distance between each star and the Earth varies substantially.

The light-year is the unit of measurement for the distance between stars.

Science has revealed that Light travels at a speed of 300 000 kilometers per second. The distance traveled by light in a year is equal to one light year.

Except for one star, all the stars in the night sky appear to travel from east to west. But, in reality, the earth revolves from west to east.

Polaris is the only star whose position does not shift.

Polaris’ location does not vary since it is aligned with the earth’s axis.

Orion, sometimes known as the hunter, is a well-known constellation. The hunter’s head is turned to the north in this position. As a result, it is important to find the north at night.

Orion is close to the constellation Canis major. The brightest star in the night sky, Sirius, may be seen in this constellation.

If you look northeast from Orion, another constellation, Gemini, can be located. It represents twins. Pollux is the brightest star in it.

The constellation Taurus may be visible in the northwest at this hour. One of these bulls eyes has a red star named Aldebaran. Another constellation near Taurus is the Pleiades.

The constellation Leo may be seen close to the zenith. It is found that Regulus is the brightest star in this constellation.

The constellation Ursa major may be seen 450 above the northern horizon. This constellation aids in locating the north at night. Other names for the same constellation are seven sages and plough.

Closer to the northern horizon, Ursa minor may be seen below Ursa major. Polaris is at the back of this bear.

Another constellation with the shape of a slanted cross may be found near the horizon in the southern sky. This is known as the Southern Cross. To the left of this constellation are two brilliant stars that are closer together. One of these two is known as Alpha Centauri, and it is located quite far away from the southern cross. The Southern Cross constellation may be used to determine south and north directions.

Zodiac

A zodiac is a group of twelve signs in outer space that have been called since ancient times.

  1. Aries
  2. Taurus
  3. Gemini
  4. Cancer
  5. Leo
  6. Virgo
  7. Libra
  8. Scorpio
  9. Sagittarius
  10. Capricorn
  11. Aquarius
  12. Pisces

One specific set of celestial objects drew a lot of attention throughout time. These are the twelve constellations that define the zodiac. A constellation is a group of stars in the sky that have been named and are arranged in a certain pattern. The most well-known constellations are mostly from the classical Greek tradition and include Cassiopeia, Hercules, Pegasus, and Ursa Major. None of these constellations, however, are part of the zodiac.

When combined with the other twelve Zodiac constellations, they make a pattern in the sky. Astronomers have employed this pattern for a long time because it makes it easier for people to monitor the stars.

The zodiac constellations provide a two-dimensional map of the sky that is extremely useful for navigation. It aided ancient astronomers in finding and explaining things in the sky, as well as travelers and sailors who utilize the stars to calculate their direction.

The zodiac constellations are located along the plane of the ecliptic. The ecliptic is described as the Sun’s round route through the sky as seen from Earth. In other words, the Sun seems to move through these constellations during the course of a year. Because of this consistent pattern, ancient societies utilized the Sun’s trip around the zodiac to identify the time of year.

Distinguish between stars and planets.

When the night sky is studied, it is discovered that the relative location of stars does not vary on a daily or monthly basis. However, there are several objects among the zodiac constellations whose positions shift in relation to the stars. Planets are those objects.

Mainly five planets that can be seen with the naked eye. Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn are those planets visible to naked eye. Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars are solid planets, whereas other planets are gaseous.

In the sky, a star twinkles. Planets, on the other hand, do not sparkle. Even when viewed via a telescope, a star is a brilliant point. When seen via a telescope, however, a planet appears like a disc.

The method of calculating star altitude

A clinometer is a type of measurement equipment that can be used to determine a star’s altitude. It is sometimes referred to as an inclinometer.¬†Currently, high-tech Clinometers are employed for the majority of tasks, such as measuring angles of slope, elevation, or depression. A protractor can be used to make a simple clinometer just as shown below.

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Anuradhika Lakmali

Anuradhika Lakmali is a co-founder of Science A Plus learning network. She is working as a government teacher and has interest in chemistry, biology, phisics and self development.