CONSTELLATIONS

                                              

 
  

CONSTELLATIONS & ASTERISMS

The Big Dipper is the popular “asterism” within
the Ursa Major “constellation.”
Finding the “Dipper”  part of the “Great Bear” is much easier 
than locating the entire constellation at once.

Click to see how the Dippers rotate around Polaris:

Click below for DIPPER SEASONAL POSITIONS:

The difference between an “asterism” and a “constellation”
is straightforward: Think of an “asterism as a small star
arrangement with a popular name,  that does not rate full
“constellation” status, though it may be a small part of one.
Big Dipper, Little Dipper, Orion’s Belt, and Orion’s Shield
or Bow, come immediately to mind as “asterisms.” 

ASTERISMS 

are smaller patterns of stars (usually within constellations) 
that have been given popular names. 
EXAMPLE: The Big Dipper is simply the main body of the 
constellation Ursa Major. (Big Bear.)  
it looks more like a ladle (dipper,) than Ursa Major looks 
like a bear, and is much easier to recognize.

CONSTELLATIONS 

are larger star  groups seen as fanciful patterns which have
suggestedthe world around us and and our stories, and have 
been recognized patternssince antiquity, and have tradionally 
accepted names, and most are very ancient.  The Latin 
"Canis Major"  sounds much better than the modern English 
"Big Dog," at least to me, anyway. 
Learning a few Latin names is not beyond me; and you?
  
EXPLORE THE AREA AROUND CONSTELLATION ORION, BELOW:
(10 SECOND INTERVALS, SO PLEASE WAIT.) 
  (click to start in a new window.)

THE NIGHT SKY TUTORIAL

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