A constellation is a group of stars that are considered to form imaginary outlines or meaningful patterns on the celestial sphere, typically representing animals, mythological people or gods, mythological creatures, or manufactured devices. The 88 modern constellations are defined regions of the sky together covering the entire celestial sphere.
Origins for the earliest constellations likely goes back to prehistory, whose now unknown creators collectively used them to related important stories of either their beliefs, experiences, creation or mythology. As such, different cultures and countries often adopted their own set of constellations outlines, some that persisted into the early 20th Century. Adoption of numerous constellations have significantly changed throughout the centuries. Many have varied in size or shape, while some became popular then dropped into obscurity. Others were traditionally used only by various cultures or single nations.
The Western-traditional constellations are the forty-eight Greek classical patterns, as stated in both Aratus' work Phenomena or Ptolemy's Almagest — though their existence probably predates these constellation names by several centuries. Newer constellations in the far southern sky were added much later during the 15th to mid-18th century, when European explorers began travelling to the southern hemisphere. Twelve important constellations are assigned to the zodiac, where the Sun, Moon, and planets all follow the ecliptic. The origins of the zodiac probably date back into prehistory, whose astrological divisions became prominent c. 400 BC within Babylonian or Chaldean astronomy.
In 1928, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) ratified and recognized 88 modern constellations, with contiguous boundaries defined by right ascension and declination. Therefore, any given point in a celestial coordinate system lies in one of the modern constellations. Some astronomical naming systems give the constellation where a given celestial object is found along with a designation in order to convey an approximate idea of its location in the sky. e.g. The Flamsteed designation for bright stars consists of a number and the genitive form of the constellation name.
The largest constellation by area is Hydra which is 3.16% of the sky.
The smallest is Crux which only takes up 0.17 percent of the sky.
WHAT ARE THE PATTERNS IN A CONSTELLATION CALLED
Small patterns of stars within a constellation are called asterisms
NAMES OF THE 13 CONSTELLATIONS
Contrary to popular belief, there are actually 13 zodiacal constellations, if you pay attention to the way astronomers define them.In addition to Capricornus , Aquarius, Pisces, Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpius, and Sagittarius, the Sun also passes through Ophiuchus.
THE MOST VISIBLE CONSTELLATIONS IN THE NORTHERN HEMISPHERE
Aquarius. Aquila, Aries, Canis Major, Cygnus (also known as the Northern Cross), Leo, Orion & Scorpius.
WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY THE WORD CONSTELLATIONS
A constellation is a group of stars that make an imaginary shape in the night sky. They are usually named after mythological characters, people, animals and objects. In different parts of the world, people have made up different shapes out of the same groups of bright stars.
HOW CONSTELLATIONS WORK
The stars allowed farmers to plan ahead and form agriculture, and constellations made it easier to recognize and interpret the patterns in the sky. The constellations also helped with navigation. It is fairly easy to spot Polaris (The North Star) once you've found Ursa Minor (Little Dipper constellation).