C O N S T E L L A T I O N S

 

Introduction

    Anyone of the 88 groupings of stars that appear in the celestial sphere & which they take his name from religious or mithologicals figures, animals or objects. This term also talks about delimited areas of the celestial sphere that understand the star groups with an certain name.

       The Greeks recognized & named forty-eight constellations.  Many of these constellations were also recognized by the Arabs, Egyptians, & the Babylonian.  In 1928, the International Astronomy Union fixed the boundaries of the eighty-eight constellations in the sky.  Twelve constellations lie on the ecliptic & are known as "the Zodiacs."  Part of Ophiuchus lies on the ecliptic, so that makes thirteen ecliptic constellations.  Twenty-nine constellations are between the ecliptic & the North Celestial Pole plus the remainder of Ophiuchus.  Forty-seven constellations lie between the ecliptic zone & the South Celestial Pole.

    The names of the constellations are given in Latin, because Latin was once the language of learning.  The names used by the Greeks, Egyptians, & other people were translated into Latin.  For convenience, the ancients named the constellations after a certain figure that it seemed to form in the sky.  They refer to mythological or legendary men, women, & animals.

    For thousands of years, people have used their knowledge of the constellations to guide them from place to place.

Osiris & Orion

   The Egyptians saw the constellation of Orion as the god Osiris holding the star Aldebaran.

   Isis is represented as Sirius star, brightest star of the sky & that we can see in skies of November until March. For Egyptians their calendar it began when they observed Sirius in its orto or exit shortly before dawn, phenomenon that took place in September & that entailed the swelling of the Nile river, fundamental for the control & development of the Egyptian civilization.

 

    By knowing  the positions of the constellations, it is possible to locate stars, planets, comets, & meteors.

    The constellations appear to move westward as the Earth rotates around the axis.  For this reason, certain constellations can be seen only during one of the seasons of the year

Celestial sphere  

Celestial sphere

   In order to describe the position of the celestial objects, astronomy supposes that all of them are to the same Earth distance, in the surface of an imaginary globe called celestial sphere. The coordinates of a celestial object are the right ascension & the declination, that define in relation to the poles & the celestial equator, located over terrestrial ones. The ecliptic is the apparent annual trajectory of the Sun through the sky

   

   The drawings of constellations older than are known are reasons done in shells, bowls & boards of game of the sumerians , that indicate that the the 4000 b.C. constellations already had been established. The sumerians gave to the name to the constellation Aquarius, in honor to their God An , that spills the water of immortality on the Earth. The Babylonians already had divided the zodiac in 12 equal signs towards the 450 b.C. The present constellations of the North hemisphere are different little from which the heatings & old the Egyptians knew. Homero & Hesiod mentioned the constellations & Greek poet Arato Soli, gave a verse description of 44 constellations in his Phaenomena.

Homero

    The armies Greek & troyano prepare the war of Troy (century XII a.C.), the most famous battle of western mythology. At the same time, the Gods meet to discuss on the destiny of the human beings & to decide if they allow to fix his disputes them of a Pacific way or activate the forces that both ended the side destruction and, with it, of all the civilization. Attributed to the classic writer Greek Homero, the Iliada dates from century IX b.C.

Culver Pictures, Inc..

   Tolomeo , astronomer & Greek mathematician, in the Almagesto, described 48 constellations, of which, 47 are continued knowing by the same name.

 

System of Tolomeo

    In century II a.C., Claudius Tolomeo raised a model of the Universe with the Earth in the center. In the model, the Earth she remains stationary while the planets, the Moon & the Sun describe complicated orbits around her. Apparently, to Tolomeo it worried to him that the model worked from the mathematical point of view, & not as much that described the planetary movement accurately. Although later its incorrección was demonstrated, the model of Tolomeo was accepted during several centuries.

Mary Evans Picture Library/Photo Researchers, Inc..

 

         In the antiquity , many other towns grouped stars in constellations, although its disposition does not correspond with those of the old West. However, some Chinese constellations are looked like the western ones, indicating the possibility of a common origin.

       At the end of century XVI, the first European explorers of the seas of the South drew up maps of the austral hemisphere. The Dutch navigator Pieter Dirckz Keyser, who participated in the exploration of the Eastern Indians in 1595 added new constellations. Later they were added to other constellations of the South hemisphere by the German astronomer Johann Bayer -- who published the first extensive celestial atlas of the western world: Uranometría --, by Hevelius & the French astronomer Nicolas Louis of the Caille. Many others proposed new constellations, but the astronomers finally decided a list 88. However, the limits of the constellations continued being discussion subject until 1930, when the Astronomical Union the International fixed these limits.

       In order to designate approximately 1,300 shining stars, the genitive of the name of the constellations is used, preceded by a Greek letter; this system was introduced by Johann Bayer.

        For example, the famous star Algol, in the Perseo constellation is named by b Persei.

 

Discovered to date

        Next one indicates the exact dates of the day of descubrimento of the visible constellations from a latitude of +40º, that are visible from the island of Majorca, Spain & all discovered there ordered per dates.

        The rest of constellations that are very to the south, & therefore, inferior to a declination of -50º & hair nets from Majorca Spain. They are pending of which it can discover them in a trip to the seas of the south. (Dream of the author).

        The indicated ones with * indicate that it leaves from them are visible from Majorca, Spain but not all the structure.

        It exists another format in the Web with these dates & others of different objects from the Solar System, characterized by calendar.  In addition an ample information of each one of them, its mythology, history, characteristics and observations by telescope made exists to date that podeis to visit in a the Web.

 

        It exists on my web celestial charts pointed at next coordenates to find them any constellations at celestial sphere with theirs names of stars, more importants, & the international limits of each one constellations that they are accepted by I.A.U.   

     

 

Table

Constellation Nom. Date of discovery Notes
Cygnus Cyg August 9th, 1981 Ca'n Picafort, Mallorca, Spain
Orion Ori December 7th, 1981 Inca, Mallorca, Spain
Taurus Tau December 7th, 1981 Inca, Mallorca, Spain
Canis Major CMa December 14th, 1981 Inca, Mallorca, Spain
Canis Minor CMi December 14th, 1981 Inca, Mallorca, Spain
Lepus Lep December 14th, 1981 Inca, Mallorca, Spain
Gemini Gem January 1st, 1982 Inca, Mallorca, Spain
Auriga Aur January 1st, 1982 Inca, Mallorca, Spain
Monoceros Mon January 1st, 1982 Inca, Mallorca, Spain
Hydra Hya January 1st, 1982 Inca, Mallorca, Spain
Cancer Cnc January 2nd, 1982 Inca, Mallorca, Spain
Leo Leo January 2nd, 1982 Inca, Mallorca, Spain
Ursa Major UMa January 2nd, 1982 Inca, Mallorca, Spain
Cassiopea Cas January 2nd, 1982 Inca, Mallorca, Spain
Leo Minor LMi January 2nd, 1982 Inca, Mallorca, Spain
Ursa Minor UMi January 2nd, 1982 Inca, Mallorca, Spain
Perseus Per January 22nd, 1982 Inca, Mallorca, Spain
Andromeda And January 22nd, 1982 Inca, Mallorca, Spain
Aries Ari January 22nd, 1982 Inca, Mallorca, Spain
Triangulum Tri January 22nd, 1982 Inca, Mallorca, Spain
Canes Venatici CVn January 22nd, 1982 Inca, Mallorca, Spain
Draco Dra January 30th, 1982 Inca, Mallorca, Spain
Corvus Crv January 30th, 1982 Inca, Mallorca, Spain
Bootes Boo February 28th, 1982 Inca, Mallorca, Spain
Virgo Vir March 18th, 1982 Inca, Mallorca, Spain
Corona Borealis CrB March 18th, 1982 Inca, Mallorca, Spain
Serpens Caput SCp April 15th, 1982 Inca, Mallorca, Spain
Hercules Her April 15th, 1982 Inca, Mallorca, Spain
Libra Lib April 15th,  1982 Inca, Mallorca, Spain
Lyra Lyr April 15th, 1982 Inca, Mallorca, Spain
Lynx Lyn April  17th, 1982 Inca, Mallorca, Spain
Cepheus Cep April 17th, 1982 Inca, Mallorca, Spain
Ophiuchus Oph April 17th, 1982 Inca, Mallorca, Spain
Serpens Cauda SCd April 17th, 1982 Inca, Mallorca, Spain
Aquila Aql April 17th, 1982 Inca, Mallorca, Spain
Scorpius Sco April 17th, 1982 Inca, Mallorca, Spain
Pegasus Peg Jyly 4th, 1982 Ca'n Picafort, Mallorca, Spain
Delphinus Del July 16th, 1982 Ca'n Picafort, Mallorca, Spain
Capricornius Cap August10th, 1982 Ca'n Picafort, Mallorca, Spain
Sagitta Sge August 10th, 1982 Ca'n Picafort, Mallorca, Spain
Aquarius Aqr Augugst 10th, 1982 Ca'n Picafort, Mallorca, Spain
Piscis Psc August 24th, 1982 Ca'n Picafort, Mallorca, Spain
Cetus Cet September 16th, 1982 Ca'n Picafort, Mallorca, Spain
Lacerta Lac September 16th, 1982 Ca'n Picafort, Mallorca, Spain
Sagitarius Sgr October 10th, 1982 Ca'n Picafort, Mallorca, Spain
Scutum Sct June 29th, 1984 Inca, Mallorca, Spain
Eridianus Eri November 12th, 1984 Inca, Mallorca, Spain
Vulpecula Vul June 21st, 1985 Inca, Mallorca, Spain
Equuleus Equ June 23rd, 1985 Inca, Mallorca, Spain
Corona Australis CrA August 12th, 1985 Inca, Mallorca, Spain
Piscis Austrinus PsA August 17th, 1985 Inca, Mallorca, Spain
Fornax For October 11th, 1985 Ca'n Picafort, Mallorca, Spain
Scultor Scl October 12th, 1985 Ca'n Picafort, Mallorca, Spain
Columba Col November 9th, 1985 Ca'n Picafort, Mallorca, Spain
Puppis Pup December 14th, 1985 Ca'n Picafort, Mallorca, Spain
Pyxis Pyx December 15th, 1985 Ca'n Picafort, Mallorca, Spain
Sextans Sex December 22nd, 1985 Ca'n Picafort, Mallorca, Spain
Antlia Ant January 5th, 1986 Ca'n Picafort, Mallorca, Spain
Crater Crt April 1st, 1986 Ca'n Picafort, Mallorca, Spain
Coma Berenice Com April 1st, 1986 Ca'n Picafort, Mallorca, Spain
Centaurus Cen May 2nd, 1986 Ca'n Picafort, Mallorca, Spain *
Lupus Lup May 2nd, 1986 Ca'n Picafort, Mallorca, Spain *
Camelopardalis Cam August 11th, 1986 Ca'n Picafort, Mallorca, Spain
Vela Vel January 31st, 1987 Ca'n Picafort, Mallorca, Spain *
Microscopium Mic September 22nd, 1989 Ca'n Picafort, Mallorca, Spain
Phoenix Phe October 21st, 1989 Son Serra, Mallorca, Spain
Grux Gru October28th, 1989 Son Serra, Mallorca, Spain
Caelum Cae December 8th, 1989 Ca'n Picafort, Mallorca, Spain

 Masm © (Last update 01.31.2004)