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Constellations

A line running from the two end stars in the Plough, Merak and Dubhe, point to Polaris, the Pole Star, which lies almost exactly...Read More >>A line running from the two end stars in the Plough, Merak and Dubhe, point to Polaris, the Pole Star, which lies almost exactly due north. Constellations are areas of the sky, divided up for the purpose of locating and identifying stars, galaxies and other objects in the heavens, as well as the star patterns they contain. Years ago, seafarers used the constellation Ursa Major (the Great Bear) to help with navigation. The seven middle stars of Ursa Major make up the familiar Plough. A line running from the two end stars in the Plough, Merak and Dubhe, point to Polaris, the Pole Star, which lies almost exactly due north.



A 17th-century map of the Northern and Southern Hemisphere skies, featuring the constellations and pictures of the animals,...Read More >>A 17th-century map of the Northern and Southern Hemisphere skies, featuring the constellations and pictures of the animals, figures and other objects they were thought to represent.

Mapping the night sky

This chart show the stars and constellations that can be seen from the Northern Hemisphere. If viewed with the present month at...Read More >>This chart show the stars and constellations that can be seen from the Northern Hemisphere. If viewed with the present month at the bottom of the chart at 10.00 pm, and facing south, on a clear night you should be able to locate many of the stars and constellations on the chart.Years ago, before telescopes were invented, early astronomers grouped the stars together into patterns, imagining their shapes to look like gods, heroes and sacred beasts from popular legends. The ancient Greeks knew of 48 constellations, having inherited some from the Babylonians. When Europeans sailed the southern oceans on voyages of exploration, they discovered constellations they had never seen before. Today, the sky is divided into 88 constellations.
This chart show the stars and constellations that can be seen from the Southern Hemisphere. If viewed with the present month at...Read More >>This chart show the stars and constellations that can be seen from the Southern Hemisphere. If viewed with the present month at the bottom of the chart at 10.00 pm, and facing north, on a clear night you should be able to locate many of the stars and constellations on the chart.

Southern Hemisphere

Approximately 10,000 stars are visible with the naked eye.

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