The Full Wiki

Constellation: Map

Advertisements
  
  
  
  

Wikipedia article:

Map showing all locations mentioned on Wikipedia article:



In modern astronomy, a constellation is an area of the celestial sphere, defined by exact boundaries.The term "constellation" can also be used loosely to refer to just the more prominent visible stars that seem to form a pattern in that area.

Definitions

In colloquial usage, a constellation is what astronomers call an asterism: a group of celestial bodies (usually stars) that appear to form a pattern in the sky or appear visibly related to each other. Examples are Orion (which appears like a human figure with a belt, often referred to as "The Hunter"), Leo (which contains bright stars that outline the form of a lion), Scorpius (which can seem reminiscent of a scorpion), and Crux (a cross).

In astronomy, however, a constellation is an area of the sky, and contains all the stars and other celestial objects within that area. The International Astronomical Union (IAU) divides the sky into 88 official constellations with exact boundaries, so that every direction or place in the sky is defined by one constellation. Most of these constellations are centered on the traditional constellations of Western culture.Constellations were devised by ancient people to be able to recognize stars in the sky. The shapes of constellations resemble objects familiar to those people.

Human perception versus reality

Constellations are normally the product of human perception rather than astronomical realities. The stars in a constellation or asterism rarely have any astrophysical relationship to each other; they just happen to appear close together in the sky as viewed from Earth and typically lie many light years apart in space. However, there are some exceptions. The famous star pattern known as the Big Dipper is almost entirely created by stars that are genuinely close together in astronomical terms; they are known as the Ursa Major moving group.

The grouping of stars into constellations is essentially arbitrary, as different cultures have seen different patterns in the sky, although a few of the more obvious ones tend to recur frequently, e.g., Orion and Scorpius.

Official constellations

The 88 official constellations defined by the IAU (International Astronomical Union) are mostly based upon those of the ancient Greek tradition, passed down through the Middle Ages, which includes the 'signs of the zodiac,' twelve constellations through which the sun passes and which thus have had special cultural significance. The rest consist of constellations which were defined in the early modern era by astronomers who studied the southern hemispheremarker's skies, which were invisible to the Greeks.

Boundaries

The constellation boundaries now used by the International Astronomical Union were drawn up in 1930 by Eugène Delporte. He drew them along vertical and horizontal lines of right ascension and declination. However, he did so for the epoch B1875.0, the era when Benjamin A. Gould made the proposal on which Delporte based his work. The consequence of this early date is that due to precession of the equinoxes, the borders on a modern star map (e.g., for epoch J2000) are already somewhat skewed and no longer perfectly vertical or horizontal. This skew will increase over the years and centuries to come.

A star pattern may be widely known but may not be used by the International Astronomical Union. One famous example is the asterism known as the Big Dipper; this term is not used by the IAU as the stars are considered part of the larger constellation of Ursa Major.

Constellation systems across the world

Western

In the Western world, the sky of the northern hemispheremarker is traditionally divided into constellations based on those described by the Ancient Greeks. The first ancient Greek works which dealt with the constellations were books of star myths. The oldest of these was a poem composed by Hesiod in or around the eighth century BC, of which only fragments survive. The most complete existing works dealing with the mythical origins of the constellations are by the Hellenistic writer termed pseudo-Eratosthenes and an early Roman writer styled pseudo-Hyginus.

In the 2nd century AD, the Greek astronomer Ptolemy described the constellations in great detail in his influential work the Almagest.

Chinese

Chinese constellations are different from the Western constellations due to the independent development of ancient Chinesemarker astronomy One difference is that the Chinese counterpart of the 12 western zodiac constellations is the 28 "Xiu" (宿) or "mansions" (a literal translation). The Western and Chinese too have some similarities.

Indian

In Vedic astrology, the 12 zodiac constellations are called raasis. The twelve raasis along the ecliptic correspond directly to the twelve western star signs. These are however divided into 27 Nakshatras, or lunar houses.

Dark cloud constellations



In the southern hemispheremarker, it is possible to discern dark patches in the Milky Way. Some cultures have discerned shapes in these patches and have given names to these "dark cloud constellations." Members of the Inca civilization identified various dark areas or dark nebulae in the Milky Way as animals, and associated their appearance with the seasonal rains. Australian Aboriginal astronomy also describes dark cloud constellations, the most famous being the "emu in the sky" whose head is formed by the Coalsack.

See also



Notes

  1. The Incan View of the Night Sky


Further reading

Mythology, Star Lore, History, & Archaeoastronomy

  • Allen, Richard Hinckley. (1899) Star-Names And Their Meanings, G. E. Stechert, New York, New York, U.S.A., hardcover; reprint 1963 as Star Names: Their Lore and Meaning, Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, U.S.A., ISBN 978-0486210797 softcover.
  • Olcott, William Tyler. (1911); Star Lore of All Ages, G. P. Putnam's Sons, New York, New York, U.S.A., hardcover; reprint 2004 as Star Lore: Myths, Legends, and Facts, Dover Publications, Inc., Mineola, New York, U.S.A., ISBN 978-0486435817 softcover.
  • Kelley, David H. and Milone, Eugene F. (2004) Exploring Ancient Skies: An Encyclopedic Survey of Archaeoastronomy, Springer, ISBN 978-0-387-95310-6 hardcover.
  • Ridpath, Ian. (1989) Star Tales, Lutterworth Press, ISBN 0718826957 hardcover.
  • Staal, Julius D. W. (1988) The New Patterns in the Sky: Myths and Legends of the Stars, McDonald & Woodward Publishing Co., ISBN 0939923106 hardcover, ISBN 0939923041 softcover.


Atlases & Celestial Maps

General & Nonspecialized – Entire Celestial Heavens:
  • Becvar, Antonin. Atlas Coeli. Published as Atlas of the Heavens, Sky Publishing Corporation, Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A.; with coordinate grid transparency overlay.
  • Norton, Arthur Philip. (1910) Norton's Star Atlas, 20th Edition 2003 as Norton's Star Atlas and Reference Handbook, edited by Ridpath, Ian, Pi Press, ISBN 978-0-13-145164-3, hardcover.
  • National Geographic Societymarker. (1957, 1970, 2001, 2007) The Heavens (1970), Cartographic Division of the National Geographic Society (NGS), Washington, D.C., U.S.A., two sided large map chart depicting the constellations of the heavens; as special supplement to the August 1970 issue of National Geographic. Forerunner map as A Map of The Heavens, as special supplement to the December 1957 issue. Current version 2001 (Tirion), with 2007 reprint.
  • Sinnott, Roger W. and Perryman, Michael A.C. (1997) Millennium Star Atlas, Epoch 2000.0, Sky Publishing Corporation, Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A., and European Space Agency (ESA), ESTEC, Noordwijk, The Netherlands. Subtitle: "An All-Sky Atlas Comprising One Million Stars to Visual Magnitude Eleven from the Hipparcos and Tycho Catalogues and Ten Thousand Nonstellar Objects". 3 volumes, hardcover, in hardcover slipcase, set ISBN 0-933346-84-0. Vol. 1, 0–8 Hours (Right Ascension), ISBN 0-933346-81-6 hardcover; Vol. 2, 8–16 Hours, ISBN 0-933346-82-4 hardcover; Vol. 3, 16–24 Hours, ISBN 0-933346-83-2 hardcover. Softcover version available. Supplemental separate purchasable coordinate grid transparent overlays.
  • Tirion, Wil; et al. (1987) Uranometria 2000.0, Willmann-Bell, Inc., Richmond, Virginia, U.S.A., 3 volumes, hardcover. Vol. 1 (1987): "The Northern Hemisphere to −6o", by Wil Tirion, Barry Rappaport, and George Lovi, ISBN 0-943396-14-X hardcover, printed boards (blue). Vol. 2 (1988): "The Southern Hemisphere to +6o", by Wil Tirion, Barry Rappaport, and George Lovi, ISBN 0-943396-15-8 hardcover, printed boards (red). Vol. 3 (1993) as a separate added work: The Deep Sky Field Guide to Uranometria 2000.0, by Murray Cragin, James Lucyk, and Barry Rappaport, ISBN 0-943396-38-7 hardcover, printed boards (gray). 2nd Edition 2001 (black or dark background) as collective set of 3 volumes – Vol. 1: Uranometria 2000.0 Deep Sky Atlas, by Wil Tirion, Barry Rappaport, and Will Remaklus, ISBN 978-0-943396-71-2 hardcover, printed boards (blue edging); Vol. 2: Uranometria 2000.0 Deep Sky Atlas, by Wil Tirion, Barry Rappaport, and Will Remaklus, ISBN 978-0-943396-72-9 hardcover, printed boards (green edging); Vol. 3: Uranometria 2000.0 Deep Sky Field Guide by Murray Cragin and Emil Bonanno, ISBN 978-0-943396-73-6, hardcover, printed boards (teal green).
  • Tirion, Wil and Sinnott, Roger W. (1998) Sky Atlas 2000.0, various editions. 2nd Deluxe Edition, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, England (U.K.).


Northern Celestial Hemisphere & North Circumpolar Region:
  • Becvar, Antonin. (1962) Atlas Borealis 1950.0, Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences (Ceskoslovenske Akademie Ved), Praha, Czeckoslovakia, 1st Edition, elephant folio hardcover, with small transparency overlay coordinate grid square and separate paper magnitude legend ruler. 2nd Edition 1972 and 1978 reprint, Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences (Ceskoslovenske Akademie Ved), Prague, Czeckoslovakia, and Sky Publishing Corporation, Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A., ISBN 0-933346-01-8 oversize folio softcover spiral bound, with transparency overlay coordinate grid ruler.


Equatorial, Ecliptic, & Zodiacal Celestial Sky:
  • Becvar, Antonin. (1958) Atlas Eclipticalis 1950.0, Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences (Ceskoslovenske Akademie Ved), Praha, Czeckoslovakia, 1st Edition, elephant folio hardcover, with small transparency overlay coordinate grid square and separate paper magnitude legend ruler. 2nd Edition 1974, Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences (Ceskoslovenske Akademie Ved), Prague, Czeckoslovakia, and Sky Publishing Corporation, Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A., oversize folio softcover spiral bound, with transparency overlay coordinate grid ruler.


Southern Celestial Hemisphere & South Circumpolar Region:
  • Becvar, Antonin. Atlas Australis 1950.0, Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences (Ceskoslovenske Akademie Ved), Praha, Czeckoslovakia, 1st Edition, elephant folio hardcover, with small transparency overlay coordinate grid square and separate paper magnitude legend ruler. 2nd Edition, Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences (Ceskoslovenske Akademie Ved), Prague, Czeckoslovakia, and Sky Publishing Corporation, Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A., oversize folio softcover spiral bound, with transparency overlay coordinate grid ruler.


Catalogs

  • Becvar, Antonin. (1959) Atlas Coeli II Katalog 1950.0, Praha, 1960 Prague. Published 1964 as Atlas of the Heavens - II Catalogue 1950.0, Sky Publishing Corporation, Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
  • Hirshfeld, Alan and Sinnott, Roger W. (1982) Sky Catalogue 2000.0, Cambridge University Press and Sky Publishing Corporation, 1st Edition, 2 volumes. LCCN 81017975 both vols., and LCCN 83240310 vol. 1. "Volume 1: Stars to Magnitude 8.0", ISBN 0-521-24710-1 (Cambridge) and 0-933346-35-2 (Sky) hardcover, ISBN 0-933346-34-4 (Sky) softcover. Vol. 2 (1985) - "Volume 2: Double Stars, Variable Stars, and Nonstellar Objects", ISBN 0-521-25818-9 (Cambridge) hardcover, ISBN 0-521-27721-3 (Cambridge) softcover. 2nd Edition (1991) with additional third author Frangois Ochsenbein, 2 volumes, LCCN 91026764. Vol. 1: ISBN 0-521-41743-0 (Cambridge) hardcover (black binding); ISBN 0-521-42736-3 (Cambridge) softcover (red lettering with Hans Vehrenberg astrophoto). Vol. 2 (1999): ISBN 0-521-27721-3 (Cambridge) softcover and 0-933346-38-7 (Sky) softcover - reprint of 1985 edition (blue lettering with Hans Vehrenberg astrophoto).


  • Yale University Observatory. (1908, et al.) Catalogue of Bright Stars, New Haven, Connecticut, U.S.A. Referred to commonly as "Bright Star Catalogue". Various editions with various authors historically, the longest term revising author as Dorrit Hoffleit. 1st Edition 1908. 2nd Edition 1940 by Frank Schlesinger and Louise F. Jenkins. 3rd Edition (1964), 4th Edition, 5th Edition (1991), and 6th Edition (pending posthumous) by Hoffleit. Hardcover or softcover.


External links




Embed code:
Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message