What is a Constellation?


A constellation is a group of visible stars that form a pattern when viewed from Earth. The pattern they form may take the shape of an animal, a mythological creature, a man, a woman, or an inanimate object such as a microscope, a compass, or a crown.

Like our cute Plesiosaurus Champ, who discovers a heart shaped constellation in the sky that helps him find his way to Nessie, constellations were used in ancient times to help people navigate. By finding Ursa Minor it is fairly easy to spot the North Star (Polaris). Using the height of the North Star in the sky, navigators could figure out their latitude helping ships to travel across the oceans. They were also used to help keep track of the calendar. This was very important so that people knew when to plant and harvest crops.

Today scientists recognize 88 constellations in the sky. Our favorite constellation is Cetas, also known as “the Whale” or “The Sea Monster.” Cetas is one of the largest constellations in the Northern sky.

What is your favorite constellation?