History UsefulNotes / Constellations

13th Apr '16 6:04:32 AM laplaneteetlesoleil
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* '''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyra Lyra]]: the Lyre.''' A small but easy-to-find constellation best-visible in the Summer. Similar to a rhomboid, the Lyre portrays the eponymous ancient instrument and is definitively dominated by its alpha star: Vega, the 5th brightest star in the whole Sky. This is a light-blue star not much bigger than the Sun and relatively close to the Solar System. However, we don't know if it is surrounded by planets as shown in [[Main/Contact some pop-cultural portrayals]]. [[note]]Planets outside the Solar System have been discovered only since the 1990s; astronomers think only stars the size of / smaller than the Sun can be "old" enough to have had the time to form a planetary system populated by intelligent forms of Life. Vega is probably still too "young".[[/note]] The Lyre also contains a famous quadruple star called "the double double", and one of the most celebrated nebulas: the Ring Nebula, so-called because it appears ring-shaped when seen with a telescope. Nebulae are huge masses of gas and/or dust much larger than the whole Solar System, and are found in the external "disk" of our Galaxy. There are several types of nebulas; the Ring Nebula pertain to the subgroup called "planetary nebulas" (see also the Zodiac section).

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* '''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyra Lyra]]: the Lyre.''' A small but easy-to-find constellation best-visible in the Summer. Similar to a rhomboid, the Lyre portrays the eponymous ancient instrument and is definitively dominated by its alpha star: Vega, the 5th brightest star in the whole Sky. This is a light-blue star not much bigger than the Sun and relatively close to the Solar System. However, we don't know if it is surrounded by planets as shown in [[Main/Contact some pop-cultural portrayals]].portrayals. [[note]]Planets outside the Solar System have been discovered only since the 1990s; astronomers think only stars the size of / smaller than the Sun can be "old" enough to have had the time to form a planetary system populated by intelligent forms of Life. Vega is probably still too "young".[[/note]] The Lyre also contains a famous quadruple star called "the double double", and one of the most celebrated nebulas: the Ring Nebula, so-called because it appears ring-shaped when seen with a telescope. Nebulae are huge masses of gas and/or dust much larger than the whole Solar System, and are found in the external "disk" of our Galaxy. There are several types of nebulas; the Ring Nebula pertain to the subgroup called "planetary nebulas" (see also the Zodiac section).
13th Apr '16 6:01:15 AM laplaneteetlesoleil
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* '''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyra Lyra]]: the Lyre.''' A small but easy-to-find constellation best-visible in the Summer. Similar to a rhomboid, the Lyre portrays the eponymous ancient instrument and is definitively dominated by its alpha star: Vega, the 5th brightest star in the whole Sky. This is a light-blue star not much bigger than the Sun and relatively close to the Solar System. However, we don't know if it is surrounded by planets as shown in a famous 1970s Japanese cartoon. [[note]]Planets outside the Solar System have been discovered only since the 1990s; astronomers think only stars the size of / smaller than the Sun can be "old" enough to have had the time to form a planetary system populated by intelligent forms of Life. Vega is probably still too "young".[[/note]] The Lyre also contains a famous quadruple star called "the double double", and one of the most celebrated nebulas: the Ring Nebula, so-called because it appears ring-shaped when seen with a telescope. Nebulae are huge masses of gas and/or dust much larger than the whole Solar System, and are found in the external "disk" of our Galaxy. There are several types of nebulas; the Ring Nebula pertain to the subgroup called "planetary nebulas" (see also the Zodiac section).

to:

* '''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lyra Lyra]]: the Lyre.''' A small but easy-to-find constellation best-visible in the Summer. Similar to a rhomboid, the Lyre portrays the eponymous ancient instrument and is definitively dominated by its alpha star: Vega, the 5th brightest star in the whole Sky. This is a light-blue star not much bigger than the Sun and relatively close to the Solar System. However, we don't know if it is surrounded by planets as shown in a famous 1970s Japanese cartoon.[[Main/Contact some pop-cultural portrayals]]. [[note]]Planets outside the Solar System have been discovered only since the 1990s; astronomers think only stars the size of / smaller than the Sun can be "old" enough to have had the time to form a planetary system populated by intelligent forms of Life. Vega is probably still too "young".[[/note]] The Lyre also contains a famous quadruple star called "the double double", and one of the most celebrated nebulas: the Ring Nebula, so-called because it appears ring-shaped when seen with a telescope. Nebulae are huge masses of gas and/or dust much larger than the whole Solar System, and are found in the external "disk" of our Galaxy. There are several types of nebulas; the Ring Nebula pertain to the subgroup called "planetary nebulas" (see also the Zodiac section).
4th Apr '16 9:40:14 PM harharhar
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** If you live in the Earth's Northern Emisphere Orion is a winter constellation. Even though is called "the Hunter", its portrayal looks more like a warrior seen from the front. Orion is shown lifting a mace and a shield (both signed by faint stars) to defend himself against the charging Bull nearby, and has also a sword hanging from his belt. The belt is signed by the aforementioned three central stars, and is just on the celestial equator; the shoulders and the feet are symmetrically placed above and below the equator, and are signed by the stars of the "rectangle". Orion's right shoulder and his left foot are marked by two of the brightest stars in the Sky: Betelgeuse & Rigel, [[note]] Both are Arabic words meaning [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin shoulder]] and [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin foot]] respectively.[[/note]] both hundreds of light-years far from us. Rigel has the letter "Beta" and thus should be less-luminous than Betelgeuse (the "Alpha" star); actually Rigel is brighter than Betelgeuse, and the 7th brightest in the whole firmament. [[note]]However, note that Betelgeuse slightly changes its luminosity periodically, and can be the brightest star in certain moments.[[/note]]. Making their constellation even more attractive, the two stars have contrasting colors: Rigel is blue, Betelgeuse is red. Both belong to the "super-giant stars" category, being even bigger than "simply-giants" like Arcturus. Rigel's diameter is about 80 times greater than the Sun's; if placed at the center of the Solar System, Rigel would swallow Mercury in its orbit. But even Rigel is a tennis-table ball when compared with Betelgeuse. This star has a diameter 1000 times greater than the Sun, and is one of the biggest stars in the whole Galaxy; if put in the place of the Sun, Betelgeuse would swallow the whole Inner Solar-System -- Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, the Asteroid Belt, and maybe even Jupiter![[note]]In fact, before the discovery of other hugemongous stars such as [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UY_Scuti UY Scuti]] and [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NML_Cygni NML Cygni]], Betelgeuse is '''the''' biggest stars ever known.[[/note]] In other world, Betelgeuse could contain 10,000,000 Suns inside it. [[note]]Remember that the Sun could contain about 10,000 Earths, giving an effective idea about how immense the stars can be.[[/note]] Astonishingly, Betelgeuse's total mass is only 50-80 times the Sun. This means its density is extremely low: an amount of Betelgeuse's matter as big as a house would weigh like a sand-grain on Earth. Moreover, being a red star, the surface of Betelgeuse is colder than the yellow Sun and much colder than the blue Rigel. Despite its smaller diameter, Rigel has about the same total mass of Betelgeuse and produces even more light than the latter; one day Rigel will become a red super-giant the size of Betelgeuse. Both Rigel and Betelgeuse are super-massive stars at the end of their life, with Betelgeuse in a more-advanced phase than Rigel. When born with a mass much bigger than the Sun, stars only live few million years (Rigel & Betelgeuse were still non-existing when the dinosaurs populated the Earth!). After ending their internal "fuel" of hydrogen they become enormously inflated, and finally explode with unimaginable violence (the Supernova). All what remains from the former super-giant is a "pulsar" or even a Black Hole. [[note]] To learn more, see Taurus in the Zodiac section and the Useful Notes about UsefulNotes/BlackHoles.[[/note]]

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** If you live in the Earth's Northern Emisphere Orion is a winter constellation. Even though is called "the Hunter", its portrayal looks more like a warrior seen from the front. Orion is shown lifting a mace and a shield (both signed by faint stars) to defend himself against the charging Bull nearby, and has also a sword hanging from his belt. The belt is signed by the aforementioned three central stars, and is just on the celestial equator; the shoulders and the feet are symmetrically placed above and below the equator, and are signed by the stars of the "rectangle". Orion's right shoulder and his left foot are marked by two of the brightest stars in the Sky: Betelgeuse & Rigel, [[note]] Both are Arabic words meaning [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin shoulder]] and [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin foot]] respectively.[[/note]] both hundreds of light-years far from us. Rigel has the letter "Beta" and thus should be less-luminous than Betelgeuse (the "Alpha" star); actually Rigel is brighter than Betelgeuse, and the 7th brightest in the whole firmament. [[note]]However, note that Betelgeuse slightly changes its luminosity periodically, and can be the brightest star in certain moments.[[/note]]. Making their constellation even more attractive, the two stars have contrasting colors: Rigel is blue, Betelgeuse is red. Both belong to the "super-giant stars" category, being even bigger than "simply-giants" like Arcturus. Rigel's diameter is about 80 times greater than the Sun's; if placed at the center of the Solar System, Rigel would swallow Mercury in its orbit. But even Rigel is a tennis-table ball when compared with Betelgeuse. This star has a diameter 1000 times greater than the Sun, and is one of the biggest stars in the whole Galaxy; if put in the place of the Sun, Betelgeuse would swallow the whole Inner Solar-System -- Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, the Asteroid Belt, and maybe even Jupiter![[note]]In fact, before Jupiter![[note]]Among the discovery of other hugemongous stars such as [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UY_Scuti UY Scuti]] and [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NML_Cygni NML Cygni]], known since antiquity, Betelgeuse is '''the''' biggest stars ever known.arguably the biggest.[[/note]] In other world, Betelgeuse could contain 10,000,000 Suns inside it. [[note]]Remember that the Sun could contain about 10,000 Earths, giving an effective idea about how immense the stars can be.[[/note]] Astonishingly, Betelgeuse's total mass is only 50-80 times the Sun. This means its density is extremely low: an amount of Betelgeuse's matter as big as a house would weigh like a sand-grain on Earth. Moreover, being a red star, the surface of Betelgeuse is colder than the yellow Sun and much colder than the blue Rigel. Despite its smaller diameter, Rigel has about the same total mass of Betelgeuse and produces even more light than the latter; one day Rigel will become a red super-giant the size of Betelgeuse. Both Rigel and Betelgeuse are super-massive stars at the end of their life, with Betelgeuse in a more-advanced phase than Rigel. When born with a mass much bigger than the Sun, stars only live few million years (Rigel & Betelgeuse were still non-existing when the dinosaurs populated the Earth!). After ending their internal "fuel" of hydrogen they become enormously inflated, and finally explode with unimaginable violence (the Supernova). All what remains from the former super-giant is a "pulsar" or even a Black Hole. [[note]] To learn more, see Taurus in the Zodiac section and the Useful Notes about UsefulNotes/BlackHoles.[[/note]]
31st Mar '16 1:56:50 AM harharhar
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* '''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crux Crux]]: the Southern Cross.''' Contrary to what you might think, the Southern Cross is ''not'' in the exact celestial South Pole: it is only ''near'' the pole, pointing the latter with the longest of its arms. Encircled by the Centaur's legs, Crux was originally a portion of Centaurus, but Spanish and Portuguese navigators deemed it a distinct figure in the 1500th century. But is actually not cross-shaped: it is actually a small rhombus-like quadrilater. Sadly, Crux is only visible from the extreme south of the USA (Florida, Hawaii, and even a bit of Texas). But for Australian and New Zealand people the Cross can appear near the Zenith; its brightness and its usefulness to find the actual South Pole has made it an icon in these nations. [[note]] It's worthy noting many other insular nations in the Pacific Ocean have one reference to the Southern Cross in their flag, not only the well-known Australian and New Zealand examples. The New Zealand flag portrays only the four stars marking the points of the cross, while the Australian one show also a fifth weaker star, plus a brighter one near the Cross which is arguably Alpha Centauri. Also note that the Australian flag's stars are white, while those of the New Zealand flag are red. Actually, the only way to tell the two flags apart from each other is watching their respective Southern Crosses.[[/note]] The astonishing thing is, the famous cross is actually the ''smallest'' by area among all the 88 constellations. The four stars forming the points of the cross have names that are {{Portmanteau}}s: Acrux, Becrux, Gacrux & Decrux are the shortened versions of Alpha Crucis, Beta Crucis, Gamma Crucis, and Delta Crucis. Epsilon Crucis is the fainter star shown in the Australian flag, near one side of the quadrilater. Despite its smallness, Crux contains two notable objects whose names make an ironical contrast: the Jewelry Box and the Coal Sack. The former is a beautiful "open" cluster visible with a telescope, whose stars are of different colors like gems; the latter is a great dark nebula easily visible to the naked eye because it seems making a hole in the Milky Way.

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* '''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crux Crux]]: the Southern Cross.''' Contrary to what you might think, the Southern Cross is ''not'' in the exact celestial South Pole: it is only ''near'' the pole, pointing the latter with the longest of its arms. Encircled by the Centaur's legs, Crux was originally a portion of Centaurus, but Spanish and Portuguese navigators deemed it a distinct figure in the 1500th 15th century. But is actually not cross-shaped: it is actually a small rhombus-like quadrilater. Sadly, Crux is only visible from the extreme south of the USA (Florida, Hawaii, and even a bit of Texas). But for Australian and New Zealand people the Cross can appear near the Zenith; its brightness and its usefulness to find the actual South Pole has made it an icon in these nations. [[note]] It's worthy noting many other insular nations in the Pacific Ocean have one reference to the Southern Cross in their flag, not only the well-known Australian and New Zealand examples. The New Zealand flag portrays only the four stars marking the points of the cross, while the Australian one show also a fifth weaker star, plus a brighter one near the Cross which is arguably Alpha Centauri. Also note that the Australian flag's stars are white, while those of the New Zealand flag are red. Actually, the only way to tell the two flags apart from each other is watching their respective Southern Crosses.[[/note]] The astonishing thing is, the famous cross is actually the ''smallest'' by area among all the 88 constellations. The four stars forming the points of the cross have names that are {{Portmanteau}}s: Acrux, Becrux, Gacrux & Decrux are the shortened versions of Alpha Crucis, Beta Crucis, Gamma Crucis, and Delta Crucis. Epsilon Crucis is the fainter star shown in the Australian flag, near one side of the quadrilater. Despite its smallness, Crux contains two notable objects whose names make an ironical contrast: the Jewelry Box and the Coal Sack. The former is a beautiful "open" cluster visible with a telescope, whose stars are of different colors like gems; the latter is a great dark nebula easily visible to the naked eye because it seems making a hole in the Milky Way.



* '''Big Dipper''': Inside '''Ursa Major'''.
* '''The Teapot''': Inside '''Sagittarius'''.
* '''Spring Triangle''' & '''Great Diamond''': The former trio is composed of the stars Denebola (from '''Leo''' constellation), Spica ('''Virgo''') and Arcturus ('''Bootes'''). Adding Cor Caroli ('''Canes Venatici''') to the three completes the diamond. Some sources substitute Denebola for another '''Leo''' star, Regulus[[note]]Due to it being brighter[[/note]], though this significantly elongates the shape of the triangle/diamond. The diamond also surrounds the constellation '''Coma Berenices'''.

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* '''Big Dipper''': Inside The most famous part of '''Ursa Major'''.
* '''The Teapot''': Inside The most famous part of '''Sagittarius'''.
* '''Spring Triangle''' & '''Great Diamond''': The former trio is composed of the stars Denebola (from '''Leo''' constellation), Spica ('''Virgo''') and Arcturus ('''Bootes'''). Adding Cor Caroli ('''Canes Venatici''') to the three completes the diamond. Some sources substitute Denebola for another a brighter '''Leo''' star, Regulus[[note]]Due to it being brighter[[/note]], Regulus, though this significantly elongates the shape of the triangle/diamond. triangle/diamond[[note]]After all, Denebola is the tail, whereas Regulus is near the head[[/note]]. The diamond also surrounds the constellation '''Coma Berenices'''.



* '''Winter Triangle''' & '''Winter Hexagon/Circle/Oval''': The former trio contains three very bright stars: Betelgeuse ('''Orion'''), Sirius ('''Canis Major''') and Procyon ('''Canis Minor'''). Clockwise from Sirius and Procyon are the stars Castor & Pollux ('''Gemini'''), Capella ('''Auriga'''), Aldebaran ('''Taurus''') and Rigel (also '''Orion''') which together create the hexagon/circle/oval with Betelgeuse somewhere near the center.
* '''False Cross''': Composed of Delta Velorum, Kappa Velorum (both from '''Vela'''), Epsilon Carinae & Iota Carinae (both from '''Carina''')[[note]]So in a sense, this asterism is inside '''Argo Navis'''[[/note]], as previously mentioned this asterism is so-named due to its uncanny resemblance to the nearby '''Southern Cross'''/'''Crux'''.

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* '''Winter Triangle''' & '''Winter Hexagon/Circle/Oval''': Hexagon/Circle''': The former trio contains three very bright stars: Betelgeuse ('''Orion'''), Sirius ('''Canis Major''') and Procyon ('''Canis Minor'''). Clockwise from Sirius and Procyon are the stars Castor & Pollux ('''Gemini'''), Capella ('''Auriga'''), Aldebaran ('''Taurus''') and Rigel (also '''Orion''') which together create the hexagon/circle/oval hexagon/circle with Betelgeuse somewhere near the center.
* '''False Cross''': Composed of Delta Velorum, Kappa Velorum (both from '''Vela'''), Epsilon Carinae & Iota Carinae (both from '''Carina''')[[note]]So in a sense, this asterism is inside '''Argo Navis'''[[/note]], as previously mentioned this asterism is so-named due to its uncanny resemblance to the nearby '''Southern Cross'''/'''Crux'''.Southern Cross/'''Crux'''.
13th Mar '16 3:39:02 PM FordPrefect
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The 12 constellations of the Zodiac make together a "ring" around the Celestial Sphere, and each is like one link of a circular chain. They are placed the Sky with the same order we learnt when we're children: Aries the Ram, Taurus the Bull, Gemini the Twins, Cancer the Crab, Leo the Lion, Virgo the Virgin, Libra the Scales, Scorpius [[note]]NOT Scorpio: this term is used only in Astrology.[[/note]] the Scorpion, Sagittarius the Archer, Capricornus [[note]]NOT Capricorn: [[SoGoodWeMentionedItTwice this term is used only in Astrology.]] [[/note]] the Sea-Goat, Aquarius the Water-Carrier, and Pisces the Fish. However, they actually ''do not'' start with Aries and end with Pisces; like a ring-shaped chain the Zodiac has not a "start" and a "end", and you can alternatively read its constellations in the opposite direction. In the list below we don't follow rigidly the classical order because is more convenient so.

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The 12 constellations of the Zodiac make together a "ring" around the Celestial Sphere, and each is like one link of a circular chain. They are placed in the Sky with the same order we learnt when we're children: Aries the Ram, Taurus the Bull, Gemini the Twins, Cancer the Crab, Leo the Lion, Virgo the Virgin, Libra the Scales, Scorpius [[note]]NOT Scorpio: this term is used only in Astrology.[[/note]] the Scorpion, Sagittarius the Archer, Capricornus [[note]]NOT Capricorn: [[SoGoodWeMentionedItTwice this term is used only in Astrology.]] [[/note]] the Sea-Goat, Aquarius the Water-Carrier, and Pisces the Fish. However, they actually ''do not'' start with Aries and end with Pisces; like a ring-shaped chain the Zodiac has not a "start" and a "end", and you can alternatively read its constellations in the opposite direction. In the list below we don't follow rigidly the classical order because is more convenient so.
29th Feb '16 5:13:01 PM harharhar
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* '''False Cross''': Composed of Delta Velorum, Kappa Velorum (both from '''Vela'''), Epsilon Carinae & Iota Carinae (both from '''Carina''')[[note]]So in a sense, this asterism is inside '''Argo Navis'''[[/note]], this asterism is so-named due to its uncanny resemblance to the nearby '''Southern Cross'''/'''Crux'''.

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* '''False Cross''': Composed of Delta Velorum, Kappa Velorum (both from '''Vela'''), Epsilon Carinae & Iota Carinae (both from '''Carina''')[[note]]So in a sense, this asterism is inside '''Argo Navis'''[[/note]], as previously mentioned this asterism is so-named due to its uncanny resemblance to the nearby '''Southern Cross'''/'''Crux'''.
29th Feb '16 5:08:42 PM harharhar
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Many asterisms contain stars which are already part of true constellations (see below for a few examples), and in some cases like the Big Dipper, the asterism ''is'' inside a constellation. Like constellations, asterisms are invented to aid navigations in the night sky.

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Many asterisms contain stars which are already part of true constellations (see below for a few examples), and in some cases like the Big Dipper, the asterism ''is'' inside a constellation.constellation[[note]]Do check out the parent constellations for the asterisms so-indicated as inside constellations[[/note]]. Like constellations, asterisms are invented to aid navigations in the night sky.



* '''Spring Triangle''' & '''Great Diamond''': The former trio is composed of the stars Denebola (from '''Leo''' constellation), Spica ('''Virgo''') and Arcturus ('''Bootes'''). Adding Cor Caroli ('''Canes Venatici''') to the three completes the diamond. Some sources substitute Denebola for another '''Leo''' star, Regulus[[note]]Due to it being brighter[[/note]], though this significantly distorts the shape of the triangle/diamond. The diamond also surrounds the constellation '''Coma Berenices'''.

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* '''Big Dipper''': Inside '''Ursa Major'''.
* '''The Teapot''': Inside '''Sagittarius'''.
* '''Spring Triangle''' & '''Great Diamond''': The former trio is composed of the stars Denebola (from '''Leo''' constellation), Spica ('''Virgo''') and Arcturus ('''Bootes'''). Adding Cor Caroli ('''Canes Venatici''') to the three completes the diamond. Some sources substitute Denebola for another '''Leo''' star, Regulus[[note]]Due to it being brighter[[/note]], though this significantly distorts elongates the shape of the triangle/diamond. The diamond also surrounds the constellation '''Coma Berenices'''.


Added DiffLines:

* '''False Cross''': Composed of Delta Velorum, Kappa Velorum (both from '''Vela'''), Epsilon Carinae & Iota Carinae (both from '''Carina''')[[note]]So in a sense, this asterism is inside '''Argo Navis'''[[/note]], this asterism is so-named due to its uncanny resemblance to the nearby '''Southern Cross'''/'''Crux'''.
21st Feb '16 7:13:27 PM harharhar
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** If you live in the Earth's Northern Emisphere Orion is a winter constellation. Even though is called "the Hunter", its portrayal looks more like a warrior seen from the front. Orion is shown lifting a mace and a shield (both signed by faint stars) to defend himself against the charging Bull nearby, and has also a sword hanging from his belt. The belt is signed by the aforementioned three central stars, and is just on the celestial equator; the shoulders and the feet are symmetrically placed above and below the equator, and are signed by the stars of the "rectangle". Orion's right shoulder and his left foot are marked by two of the brightest stars in the Sky: Betelgeuse & Rigel, [[note]] Both are Arabic words meaning [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin shoulder]] and [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin foot]] respectively.[[/note]] both hundreds of light-years far from us. Rigel has the letter "Beta" and thus should be less-luminous than Betelgeuse (the "Alpha" star); actually Rigel is brighter than Betelgeuse, and the 7th brightest in the whole firmament. [[note]]However, note that Betelgeuse slightly changes its luminosity periodically, and can be the brightest star in certain moments.[[/note]]. Making their constellation even more attractive, the two stars have contrasting colors: Rigel is blue, Betelgeuse is red. Both belong to the "super-giant stars" category, being even bigger than "simply-giants" like Arcturus. Rigel's diameter is 90 times greater than the Sun's; if placed at the center of the Solar System, Rigel would swallow Mercury in its orbit. But even Rigel is a tennis-table ball when compared with Betelgeuse. This star has a diameter 600 times greater than the Sun, and is one of the biggest stars in the whole Galaxy; if put in the place of the Sun, Betelgeuse would swallow the whole Inner Solar-System -- Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, the Asteroid Belt, and maybe even Jupiter! In other world, Betelgeuse could contain 10,000,000 Suns inside it. [[note]]Remember that the Sun could contain about 10,000 Earths, giving an effective idea about how immense the stars can be.[[/note]] Astonishingly, Betelgeuse's total mass is only 50-80 times the Sun. This means its density is extremely low: an amount of Betelgeuse's matter as big as a house would weigh like a sand-grain on Earth. Moreover, being a red star, the surface of Betelgeuse is colder than the yellow Sun and much colder than the blue Rigel. Despite its smaller diameter, Rigel has about the same total mass of Betelgeuse and produces even more light than the latter; one day Rigel will become a red super-giant the size of Betelgeuse. Both Rigel and Betelgeuse are super-massive stars at the end of their life, with Betelgeuse in a more-advanced phase than Rigel. When born with a mass much bigger than the Sun, stars only live few million years (Rigel & Betelgeuse were still non-existing when the dinosaurs populated the Earth!). After ending their internal "fuel" of hydrogen they become enormously inflated, and finally explode with unimaginable violence (the Supernova). All what remains from the former super-giant is a "pulsar" or even a Black Hole. [[note]] To learn more, see Taurus in the Zodiac section and the Useful Notes about UsefulNotes/BlackHoles.[[/note]]

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** If you live in the Earth's Northern Emisphere Orion is a winter constellation. Even though is called "the Hunter", its portrayal looks more like a warrior seen from the front. Orion is shown lifting a mace and a shield (both signed by faint stars) to defend himself against the charging Bull nearby, and has also a sword hanging from his belt. The belt is signed by the aforementioned three central stars, and is just on the celestial equator; the shoulders and the feet are symmetrically placed above and below the equator, and are signed by the stars of the "rectangle". Orion's right shoulder and his left foot are marked by two of the brightest stars in the Sky: Betelgeuse & Rigel, [[note]] Both are Arabic words meaning [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin shoulder]] and [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin foot]] respectively.[[/note]] both hundreds of light-years far from us. Rigel has the letter "Beta" and thus should be less-luminous than Betelgeuse (the "Alpha" star); actually Rigel is brighter than Betelgeuse, and the 7th brightest in the whole firmament. [[note]]However, note that Betelgeuse slightly changes its luminosity periodically, and can be the brightest star in certain moments.[[/note]]. Making their constellation even more attractive, the two stars have contrasting colors: Rigel is blue, Betelgeuse is red. Both belong to the "super-giant stars" category, being even bigger than "simply-giants" like Arcturus. Rigel's diameter is 90 about 80 times greater than the Sun's; if placed at the center of the Solar System, Rigel would swallow Mercury in its orbit. But even Rigel is a tennis-table ball when compared with Betelgeuse. This star has a diameter 600 1000 times greater than the Sun, and is one of the biggest stars in the whole Galaxy; if put in the place of the Sun, Betelgeuse would swallow the whole Inner Solar-System -- Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, the Asteroid Belt, and maybe even Jupiter! Jupiter![[note]]In fact, before the discovery of other hugemongous stars such as [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UY_Scuti UY Scuti]] and [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NML_Cygni NML Cygni]], Betelgeuse is '''the''' biggest stars ever known.[[/note]] In other world, Betelgeuse could contain 10,000,000 Suns inside it. [[note]]Remember that the Sun could contain about 10,000 Earths, giving an effective idea about how immense the stars can be.[[/note]] Astonishingly, Betelgeuse's total mass is only 50-80 times the Sun. This means its density is extremely low: an amount of Betelgeuse's matter as big as a house would weigh like a sand-grain on Earth. Moreover, being a red star, the surface of Betelgeuse is colder than the yellow Sun and much colder than the blue Rigel. Despite its smaller diameter, Rigel has about the same total mass of Betelgeuse and produces even more light than the latter; one day Rigel will become a red super-giant the size of Betelgeuse. Both Rigel and Betelgeuse are super-massive stars at the end of their life, with Betelgeuse in a more-advanced phase than Rigel. When born with a mass much bigger than the Sun, stars only live few million years (Rigel & Betelgeuse were still non-existing when the dinosaurs populated the Earth!). After ending their internal "fuel" of hydrogen they become enormously inflated, and finally explode with unimaginable violence (the Supernova). All what remains from the former super-giant is a "pulsar" or even a Black Hole. [[note]] To learn more, see Taurus in the Zodiac section and the Useful Notes about UsefulNotes/BlackHoles.[[/note]]



* '''Spring Triangle''' & '''Great Diamond''': The former trio is composed of the stars Denebola (from '''Leo''' constellation), Spica ('''Virgo''') and Arcturus ('''Bootes'''). Adding Cor Caroli ('''Canes Venatici''') to the three completes the diamond. Some sources substitute Denebola for another '''Leo''' star, Regulus[[note]]Considering that Regulus is ''the'' brightest star in Leo[[/note]]. The diamond also surrounds the constellation '''Coma Berenices'''.
* '''Summer Triangle''': Composed of the stars Altair ('''Aquila'''), Vega ('''Lyrae''') and Deneb ('''Cygnus'''), famous both because those three are bright stars, and because the Milky Way runs through them.[[note]]Speaking of Vega, Altair and the Milky Way, this is actually the basis of the {{Tanabata}} folklore of Vega/Orihime and Altair/Hikoboshi.[[/note]] '''Vulpecula''' lies in the middle of the triangle.
* '''Winter Triangle''' & '''Winter Hexagon''': The former trio contains three very bright stars: Betelgeuse ('''Orion'''), Sirius ('''Canis Major''') and Procyon ('''Canis Minor'''). Clockwise from Sirius and Procyon are the four stars Pollux ('''Gemini'''), Capella ('''Auriga'''), Aldebaran ('''Taurus''') and Rigel (also '''Orion''') which together create the hexagon with Betelgeuse somewhere near the center.

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* '''Spring Triangle''' & '''Great Diamond''': The former trio is composed of the stars Denebola (from '''Leo''' constellation), Spica ('''Virgo''') and Arcturus ('''Bootes'''). Adding Cor Caroli ('''Canes Venatici''') to the three completes the diamond. Some sources substitute Denebola for another '''Leo''' star, Regulus[[note]]Considering that Regulus is ''the'' brightest star in Leo[[/note]].Regulus[[note]]Due to it being brighter[[/note]], though this significantly distorts the shape of the triangle/diamond. The diamond also surrounds the constellation '''Coma Berenices'''.
* '''Summer Triangle''': Composed of the stars Altair ('''Aquila'''), Vega ('''Lyrae''') and Deneb ('''Cygnus'''), this famous both because those three are bright stars, and because asterism is run through by the Milky Way runs through them.Way. [[note]]Speaking of Vega, Altair and the Milky Way, this is actually the basis of the {{Tanabata}} folklore of Vega/Orihime and Altair/Hikoboshi.Altair/Hikoboshi being separated by the Heavenly River/Milky Way; Vega and Altair really are separated by the Milky Way when seen from earth.[[/note]] '''Vulpecula''' lies in the middle of the triangle.
* '''Winter Triangle''' & '''Winter Hexagon''': Hexagon/Circle/Oval''': The former trio contains three very bright stars: Betelgeuse ('''Orion'''), Sirius ('''Canis Major''') and Procyon ('''Canis Minor'''). Clockwise from Sirius and Procyon are the four stars Castor & Pollux ('''Gemini'''), Capella ('''Auriga'''), Aldebaran ('''Taurus''') and Rigel (also '''Orion''') which together create the hexagon hexagon/circle/oval with Betelgeuse somewhere near the center.
11th Jan '16 12:56:21 AM harharhar
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!!Patterns in the sky, but not constellations: The Asterisms

Asterism is, how do we put it, sort of a constellation but not recognized as true constellation. One of the easiest way to define an asterism these days is that it's any star pattern that is not part of the 88 Modern Constellations.

Many asterisms contain stars which are already part of true constellations, and in some cases like the Big Dipper, the asterism ''is'' part of a constellation. Like constellations, asterisms are invented to aid navigations in the night sky.

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!!Patterns in the sky, but not quite constellations: The Asterisms

Asterism is, how do we put it, sort In its broadest sense, an ''asterism'' is simply a recognizable pattern of stars in the night sky. So in a sense, all constellations mentioned above are also asterisms; think of the term ''constellation'' being something of a status upgrade from mere asterism. In this page, or in general in the situation of naming star patterns, the term constellation but not refers only to the official 88 modern constellation.

As you can already surmise from the information on constellations above, the ancient Greek weren't the only ones who
recognized as true constellation. One of star patterns in the easiest way to define an asterism firmaments. Regardless of who coined the star patterns, any of these days is patterns that it's any star pattern that is we do not part of fit into the 88 Modern Constellations.

constellations are thus now considered asterisms just the same.

Many asterisms contain stars which are already part of true constellations, constellations (see below for a few examples), and in some cases like the Big Dipper, the asterism ''is'' part of inside a constellation. Like constellations, asterisms are invented to aid navigations in the night sky.



* '''The Big Dipper''': The seven (eight if we separate Mizar and Alcor) stars that are part of the aforementioned '''Ursa Major''' constellation.



* '''The Teapot''': The stars inside the aforementioned '''Sagittarius'''.
15th Oct '15 8:10:25 PM harharhar
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* '''Spring Triangle''' & '''Great Diamond''': The former trio is composed of the stars Denebola (from '''Leo''' constellation), Spica ('''Virgo''') and Arcturus ('''Bootes'''). Adding Cor Caroli ('''Canes Venatici''') to the three completes the diamond. Some sources substitute Denebola for another Leo star, Regulus. The diamond also surrounds the constellation '''Coma Berenices'''.
* '''Summer Triangle''': Composed of the stars Altair (''Aquila''), Vega (''Lyrae'') and Deneb (''Cygnus''), famous both because those three are bright stars, and because the Milky Way runs through them.[[note]]Speaking of Vega, Altair and the Milky Way, this is actually the basis of the {{Tanabata}} folklore of Vega/Orihime and Altair/Hikoboshi.[[/note]] '''Vulpecula''' lies in the middle of the triangle.

to:

* '''Spring Triangle''' & '''Great Diamond''': The former trio is composed of the stars Denebola (from '''Leo''' constellation), Spica ('''Virgo''') and Arcturus ('''Bootes'''). Adding Cor Caroli ('''Canes Venatici''') to the three completes the diamond. Some sources substitute Denebola for another Leo '''Leo''' star, Regulus.Regulus[[note]]Considering that Regulus is ''the'' brightest star in Leo[[/note]]. The diamond also surrounds the constellation '''Coma Berenices'''.
* '''Summer Triangle''': Composed of the stars Altair (''Aquila''), ('''Aquila'''), Vega (''Lyrae'') ('''Lyrae''') and Deneb (''Cygnus''), ('''Cygnus'''), famous both because those three are bright stars, and because the Milky Way runs through them.[[note]]Speaking of Vega, Altair and the Milky Way, this is actually the basis of the {{Tanabata}} folklore of Vega/Orihime and Altair/Hikoboshi.[[/note]] '''Vulpecula''' lies in the middle of the triangle.
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