Constellations 1

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Information about Constellations 1

Published on November 15, 2007

Author: AscotEdu


Introductions to Constellations:  Introductions to Constellations Slide2: What did the ancient people use stars (patterns of stars) for?:  What did the ancient people use stars (patterns of stars) for? Navigation – sailing, travel Seasons – when to plant and harvest Preserve myths, traditions, etc Group the brighter stars into patterns, - constellations Patterns of stars:  Patterns of stars Boundaries Constellation:  Constellation One of the 88 named Regions of sky defined by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) Identified with the officially recognized Patterns of Stars that lie within the boundaries of the region The Northern Hemisphere:  The Northern Hemisphere About Constellations:  About Constellations Stars in a constellation usually NOT physically associated with each others About Constellations:  About Constellations Some constellations have a lot of bright stars (Orion), others mainly contain dim stars. Symbolized figures, some patterns don't look like the subjects What are the 88 Constellations?:  What are the 88 Constellations? 14 men and women 9 birds 19 land animals 2 insects 10 water creatures 2 centaurs 1 head of hair 1 serpent 1 dragon 1 flying horse 1 river 29 inanimate objects, include scientific instruments (Microscopium, Telescopium) Asterism:  Asterism A generally recognized smaller/cuter pattern of stars that is not one of the officially recognized constellations Whether or not a region of sky is named after it – yes: constellation; no: asterism Asterism:  Asterism The Big Dipper in Ursa Major The Little Dipper in Ursa Minor The “W” of Cassiopeia Lozenge of Draco House (Cepheus) Sword of Orion, Belt of Orion History of Modern Constellations:  History of Modern Constellations (Uncertain) Origin: Nomad in Mesopotamia named some northern constellations more than 5,000 years ago, including Leo and Taurus More constellations were added by Babylonian, Egyptian and Greek History of modern constellations:  History of modern constellations Oldest systematic description of constellations: Phaenomena, in 270 B.C. by Greek poet Aratus History of modern constellations:  History of modern constellations In 150 A.D., Ptolemy published The Almagest (The Great Book) A catalog of 1022 stars, with estimates of their brightness, arrange into 48 constellations. The 48 constellations formed the basis for our modern constellations 44 southern constellations were added after 16th century History of modern constellations:  History of modern constellations IAU officially adopted the list of 88 constellations that we use today in 1922 Definitive boundaries between constellations were set in 1930 – 88 regions cover the ENTIRE sky For today’s astronomer, constellations refer not so much to the patterns of the stars, but to precisely defined areas of the sky Slide16:  Modern constellations Greek Constellations Latin Names Many stars have Arabic names Al-Sufin, one of the greatest Arabic astronomers, translated Ptolemy’s book into Arab in the 10th century Different cultures grouped stars and named constellation differently Are constellations permanent?:  Are constellations permanent? Are stars fixed? Stars all move relative to the Sun, with speed of many kilometers per seconds Stars are far away, and stars in the constellations are at different distances Stars will move, shapes of constellations will change, but it takes thousands of years to see the change What are circumpolar Constellations?:  What are circumpolar Constellations? Star Trail:  Star Trail Anglo Australian Observatory Earth rotates about an axis that is pointed very close to the star Polaris Stars rise in the east and set in the west everyday Circumpolar Constellations:  Circumpolar Constellations A Constellation that NEVER rises or sets as seen at a certain latitude Six circumpolar constellations seen in Amherst (42º N, 72º W) Ursa Major – Larger Bear Ursa Minor – Smaller bear Cassiopeia – Queen Cepheus – King Draco – Dragon Camelopardalis – The Giraffe Circumpolar Constellations at Amherst:  Circumpolar Constellations at Amherst Ursa Major Ursa Minor Cassiopeia Cepheus Draco Camelopardalis Questions:  Questions Where on the earth can we see the maximum number of circumpolar constellations? - At the earth’s pole Where on the earth can we see the minimum number of circumpolar constellations? - At the earth’s equator Summary:  Summary Definition of Constellation 88, patterns of stars, boundaries Asterisms Not official If there’s a region of sky named after it Stars in a Constellation usually do not have physically connections Circumpolar constellations Never rise or set Remember the 6 circumpolar constellations seen at Amherst Find the big dipper:  Find the big dipper How to find Polaris from the Big Dipper and Cassiopeia:  How to find Polaris from the Big Dipper and Cassiopeia From the Dipper, follow the two stars at the end of its bowl toward Cassiopeia. There, about five times the separation of these two stars, you'll find Polaris. Use the middle three stars of Cassiopeia's "W" as an arrow to point in the direction of the Dipper. Halfway there you will encounter Polaris. Do we see different constellations at different seasons?:  Do we see different constellations at different seasons? Earth rotates about an axis that is pointed very close to the star Polaris Stars rise in the east and set in the west everyday It takes 4 minutes less for a star to come back to the position yesterday If we observe the sky at the same time every night, (say 9pm), the positions of constellations will change night by night 4 minutes each day, is 24 hours for 365 days! At different seasons, we see different constellations! Zodiac Constellations:  Zodiac Constellations Constellations of stars that lie along the apparent path of the Sun across the heavens (the ecliptic) Aquarius, Pisces, Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn Slide29:  Summer Triangle 牛郎 Altair, alpha Aquila 织女 Vega, alpha Lyra 天津四 Deneb, alpha Cyg Winter Triangle Arcturus, the brightest star in the northern sky, in Bootes

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