Pasachoff, Jay M. Hopkins Observatory, Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts.
Last reviewed:March 2019
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- Star catalogs and atlases
- Modern constellations
- Additional Readings
One of the 88 areas into which the night sky is divided and named according to an imagined pattern of stars representing a mythic character, creature, animal, or object. A constellation is a "picture" drawn on the heavens by human observers, using bright stars and in some instances other luminous celestial phenomena, such as nebulae or star clusters. A well-known example is the constellation of Orion, named after a hunter in Greek mythology and easily picked out for the three aligned stars that represent his belt (Fig. 1). See also: Nebula; Star; Star clusters; Universe
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