The Record Of Astronomy - The Finding On The Constellations

Coming from the very first occasion man gazed up into the evening atmosphere he has been captivated by what he noticed. Even the initial civilisations will have had their particular own explanations for what they might notice. We all as humankind like to find patterns in the elements we observe so it is only to be predicted that we would see patterns and forms in the stars.

The 1st sea explorers depended on the stars for navigation in the course of their voyages. It's probably that early star gazers, priests and clever men of the old world would have employed sets of stars to govern their actions and beliefs. Likewise ancient mythology tried to explain their existence and significance in terms of stories, legends and symbols. Some of the first constellations recognised across multiple civilisations were the 12 signs of the Zodiac: Aries, Gemini, Leo, Libra, Sagittarius and Aquarius (masculine signs) and Taurus, Cancer, Virgo, Scorpio, Capricorn and Pisces (the feminine signs).

A constellation is defined as, "a group of celestial bodies, usually stars, which appear to form a pattern in the sky." However, in contemporary astronomy, a constellation is more commonly defined as, "an area of celestial spheres, characterized by accurate boundaries." In 1928 the International Astronomical Union (IAU) divided the sky up into eighty-eight (88) official constellations with exact borders. The Greeks recognized and named forty-eight constellations. Many of these were also recognized by the Arabs, Egyptians and the Babylonians. The rest consist of the constellations that were originally defined by astronomers who gazed and studied the skies in the southern hemisphere.

The following are the eighty-eight modern constellations (in alphabetical order): Andromeda, Antlia, Apus, Aquarius, Aquila, Ara, Aries, Auriga, Bo?tes, Caelum, Camelopardalis, Cancer, Canes Venatici, Canis Major, Canis Minor, Capricornus, Carina, Cassiopeia, Centaurus, Cepheus, Cetus, Chamaeleon, Circinus, Columba, Coma Berenices, Corona Australis, Corona Borealis, Corvus, Crater, Crux, Cygnus, Delphinus, Dorado, Draco, Equuleus, Eridanus, Fornax, Gemini, Grus, Hercules, Horologium, Hydra, Hydrus, Indus, Lacerta, Leo, Leo Minor, Lepus, Libra, Lupus, Lynx, Lyra, Mensa, Microscopium, Monoceros, Musca, Norma, Octans, Ophiuchus, Orion, Pavo, Pegasus, Perseus, Phoenix, Pictor, Pisces, Piscis Austrinus, Puppis, Pyxis, Reticulum, Sagitta, Sagittarius, Scorpius, Sculptor, Scutum, Serpens, Sextans, Taurus, Telescopium, Triangulum, Triangulum Australe, Tucana, Ursa Major, Ursa Minor, Vela, Virgo, Volans, Vulpecula.

The names of the constellations are given in Latin, because Latin was once the language of learning. Modern day stargazers can use a star map or planisphere to help them identify what they are observing in the night sky and locate the various constellations and planets when visible.

By: chantay ketterman