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Constellations and Asterisms

Constellations are patterns of stars visible to the unaided eye, or regions of space seen from Earth that are bounded by borders designated by the International Astronomical Union. Asterisms are also naked-eye star patterns, but they do not form constellations on their own. An example is the Big Dipper, which is part of Ursa Major. Americans know northern hemisphere constellations by the names given them by ancient Babylonians and Greeks. Seafaring explorers named those in the southern hemisphere. Every culture created its own constellations, although most of those in use today came from western sources.


Cancer, the Crab

Cancer, the Crab October 4, 2011

Pisces, the fish

Pisces, the Fish October 4, 2011

Aries, the ram

Aries, the Ram October 4, 2011

Aquila, the Eagle

Aquila, the Eagle May 25, 2010

Radio Programs

Columba A faint dove in southern skies February 25, 2023

Monoceros Creating a celestial unicorn February 8, 2023

Lynx Looking with the eyes of a lynx January 13, 2023

Southern Fish Nibbling away at the southern fish October 26, 2022

Faint Giant Patching together a faint giant May 22, 2022

Quadrantid Meteors Reminders of a failed constellation January 2, 2022

Moon and Stars Bright stars around the Moon November 20, 2021

The Crane A crane strides across the southern sky November 1, 2021

The Little Horse Drawing up a little horse September 26, 2021

Odd Ophiuchus An odd shape with a grand distinction June 12, 2021

The Cat A cat prowls the night sky May 16, 2021

Corvus A confusing layout for a constellation April 11, 2021

Argo Navis Splitting up a famous boat March 30, 2021

Vanished Constellations Gone and mostly forgotten March 29, 2021

Boötes A constellation with a confused history March 11, 2021

Leo Minor Lighting up an empty patch of sky February 14, 2021

Orion’s Head Topping off the hunter January 3, 2021

The First Shower A meteor shower that doesn’t waste time January 2, 2021

Winter Circle A bright ring around the Moon December 28, 2020

Sculptor Sculpting a faint constellation December 6, 2020

Venus in the Claws Venus heads for the scorpion’s claw November 30, 2020

The Crane A crane with a “fishy” background November 17, 2020

Vulpecula Fox and goose in the night sky September 19, 2020

Alpheratz One star, two constellations September 12, 2020

Little Pictures Little star pictures in the summer sky August 23, 2020

Faint Cats Faint cats near the big cat February 22, 2020

Puppis The big winner in a big breakup February 15, 2020

Fornax Heating up a faint patch of sky January 24, 2020

Quadrantid Meteors The offspring of a celestial break-up January 3, 2020

El Nath A star with a double identity December 29, 2019

Triangulum Wedging in a dull constellation November 16, 2019

Aquarius Freezing a celestial water jug November 7, 2019

Celestial Sea Setting sail on the celestial sea September 23, 2019

Crow and Cup The dangers of unripe figs April 26, 2019

Puppis A leading star without a leading name April 6, 2019

Spring Stars Leaping into next spring October 7, 2018

Ghosts The ghosts of bygone constellations April 15, 2018

The Argo Sailing across the southern sky April 9, 2018

Caelum Chiseling out a faint constellation February 3, 2018

Aries Drawing celestial borders December 26, 2017

Fornax Science and death in the night sky December 18, 2017

The Crane A crane strides across the southern sky November 12, 2017

Sailing Along Sailing across the celestial sea October 29, 2017

Drawing Stars Drawing some ancient constellations October 25, 2017

Scutum A stellar coat of arms September 24, 2017

Double Bright The leading lights of Pegasus July 29, 2017

Lynx Looking for a faint cat May 25, 2017

Moon in the Middle Bright stars around the Moon February 7, 2017

Fornax Firing up a celestial furnace January 19, 2017

Featured Images

Vulpecula et Anser

Fox and Goose June 26, 2022

Extinct Constellations March 29, 2021

Hydra and surrounding constellations

A Long Story April 26, 2019

Lynx in the west, late May

Faint Cat May 25, 2017

The constellation Corvus, near brilliant Spica

Sailing On May 17, 2015