a constellation is a group of stars, which form a remarkable sample. Constellations can be determined in nearly all cultures to back into the early advanced cultures with security. The today's constellations gofrom the twelve Babylonian Tierkreiszeichen and in the antique Greece on 48 were extended. Between 1600 and 1800 further constellations were introduced and 1928 were finally specified the list of the today's 88 constellations.
Table of contents
Meaning of the constellations
of constellations are first purely anthropozentrische constructions, it have only subjectively for the observer meaning. The stars of a constellation do not have any physical connection and are often far from each other distant, since they have completely different distances to the earth. ThoseStructure of the constellations that the stars of a constellation seem to be because of the sky close together, is based on a projection effect.
The twelve Tierkreiszeichen, which decrease/go back to the Babylonian constellations of the ecliptic, form one of the bases of the Astrologie. Therethe constellations by the precession against the Tierkreiszeichen since that time around approximately 30 degrees shifted, do not agree them however, and generally the western Astrologie rejects the interpretation referred to actual constellations (siderische Astrologie).
Constellations and Asterisms emerge also in Greek training poems to the course of the year and agriculture, where they are used for the organization of the seasons. In the astronomy constellations in star catalogs were already used starting from the antique one for the position indication. Still around 1800 star catalogs divide the celestial objectsinto the constellations, soon thereafter one changes however to a pure position indication with Rektaszension and declination (astronomy) . Today constellations in the scientific astronomy play no more role.
Despite everything however constellations have also today nothing from their fascinationon the observer of a dark starlit sky lost, and play in the popularization of the astronomy an important role.
origin of the constellations
There were constellations probably already inprähistorischer time. From most cultures, which could be examined still in a pre+iron-temporal and writingless stage anthropologisch, anyhow constellations are well-known, as for instance constellations of the North American Indians, the Aboriginals and the San in the southern Africa. Like far first constellationsinto European early history it goes back is unknown but it is possible that in the bull hall of the cave by Lascaux a complete animal circle is already illustrated. The identification of a group of points above the Auerochsen as the pleiads seems probably, there boththe position relative to the Auerochsen (bull) and the relative positions of the six points those of the pleiads corresponds to each other. However the implicit acceptance requires to identify in the Auerochs a constellation. In Egyptian grave plants it gives likewise isolatedConstellation representations, approximately in the grave Sethos I.. Only some the represented constellations can be identified in the sky, however the representations with the nothing and did not know pictures used today as their forerunner to apply. In the temple of Denderain the first pre-Christian century represented pictures show the Egyptian already together with the animal circle of the Babylonier.
first of the secured today's constellations, particularly also inthe Astrologie used Tierkreiszeichen, decrease/go back up to the Babylonier. First of these constellations of the animal circle dip about 1500 v. Chr. up, the complete animal circle becomes around 410 v. Chr.for the first time mentions. A similar animal circle of the Indian vedischen astronomy is possibly older, but whether it possesses a relationship with the Babylonian animal circle is uncertainly. The today's Tierkreiszeichen agreed before approximately 2500 years with the appropriate constellations approximately, however in the course of the precession against these shifted. Of three tenthConstellation, which is cut by the ecliptic, Ophiuchus, rises up only one foot over the ecliptic.
Eratosthenes and some centuries of late Ptolemäus described 48 constellations, which are designated mainly after shapes from the Greek mythology before scarcely 2000 years. ThisConstellations were delivered mainly by the training poems of the Aratos and to the Poeticon Astronomicon of Hyginus in the Middle Ages. The star catalog of the Almagest, in which the stars belonging to to the pictures are specified, is first only in the Arab world well-knownand then 12 becomes since that. Century by translations from the Greek one and Arab one also in latin world spreads. To Arab scholars many of the names of stars used today decrease/go back, but no new constellations. This took over the Islamic world outthe antique one, older präislamische Sternbilber disappear and are only partly graphically delivered, for example represent to aluminium-Sufi the Cassiopeia as well as the Beduinensternbild camel.
The today's constellation hair of the Berenike was well-known in the antique one as asterism, applied however notas own constellation, but as part of the lion. „ The throne of the Cäsar set by Augustus to the sky “was not no more used after the antique one. The traditional constellation Antinous against it, that the Roman emperor Hadrian in honours of itsto the Nile had introduced favorite had an accident (after the legend sacrifices itself Antinous to extend over the life Hadrians), was considered first as asterism and part of the eagle and only in the modern times as own constellation one led. It becomes today howeverno more does not use. Since Antinous in the claws of the eagle was represented, the constellation was seen also occasional as Ganymed, whose myth such a representation fits.
|No more did not use constellations|
|a selection from thatfar common|
|132||Antinous||Hadrian||lover of the Hadrian|
|1612||Gallus||Petrus Plancius||Plancius did not leave its reasons to introduce these constellations|
|1678||Robur Carolinum||Edmond Halley||the oak, toitself the Karl II. after the lost battle of Worcester 1687|
|Cerberus||Johannes||Hevelius guard||of the gate hid 1687 Mons Maenalus Johannes Hevelius|
|holy||mountain||of the Greek antique ones||1687 Triangulum minus Johannes Hevelius|
|a smaller for||the dead realm||of the Greek antique onesStar triangle directly beside the actual constellation „triangle “|
|1688||Sceptrum Brandenburgicum||Gottfried Kirch||in the honour of the Prussian kings, whose yard astronomer was Kirch. The constellation was ignored soon 100 years, to it Bode in its Atlas published|
|1743||Rangifer||Pierre Charles Le Monnier||Annuitant, Monnier led the constellation after an observation journey to honing-lapping country|
|1775||Custos a Messium||Jérôme de Lalande||target the farmer with the harvest symbolizes, plays by the name in addition, on Messier on (and was in France as constellationMessier admits), in this sky area a comet observed.|
|1776||Turdus Solitarius||Pierre Charles Le Monnier||a bird, for memory and the French expedition for the observation of the Venustransits 1761|
|1777||Taurus Poniatovii||Martin Poczobut||the coat of arms animal of the Polish king at that time|
|1787||Honores Friderici||Johann Elert Bode||in the memory of in the year before the deceased Friedrich the large one|
|1789||Tubus Herschelii Minor||Maximilian bright||on the occasion of the discovery Uranus by Herschel|
|1789||Tubus Herschelii major||Maximilian bright||on the occasion of the discovery Uranus by Herschel|
|1789||Psalterium Georgianum||Maximilian bright||target George III. honour, its yard astronomer Herschel were|
|1795||Quadrans Muralis||Jérôme de Lalande||symbolize the wall quadrant, the most important instrument of the astronomy before invention of the telescope|
|1798||globe Aerostaticus||Jérôme de Lalande||the Montgolfiere, first manned aircraft|
|1799||Felis||Jérôme de Lalande||„I likes cats “|
|1801||Lochium Funis||Johann Elert Bode||the Logleine as nautical instrument to the ship Argo|
|1801||Telescopium Herschelii||Johann Elert Bode||place of the two previous constellations throughBrightly, in place of „the Tubus Herschelii major “|
|1801||Machina Electrica||Johann Elert Bode||use of the electricity|
|1801||Officina Typographica||Johann Elert Bode||invention of the printing with mobile type characters|
further constellations were introduced to the modern times then first at the southern sky, intothe antique one had been unknown.Johann Bavarian transferred it to the Uranometria of 1603 some constellations of Petrus Plancius 'celestial globes, that again after descriptions of the Netherlands sea-navigators Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser and Frederick de Houtman as the first on its Celestial globes represented. Often Bavarian is called nevertheless as that, which introduced these constellations, probably because its Uranometria had a much larger spreading. Bavarian takes over however only thirteen of Plancius constellations, the cross omits it. Those today admitted constellations giraffe and Einhorn only 1612, by Plancius were likewise published.
These three constellations emerge, as well as others from Plancius, which are not no more used today, first with Jakob Bartsch 1624, some of it transfer finally Johannes Hevelius to its 1687 publishedAtlas Firmamentum Sobiescianium, which specifies still further pictures. In unawareness of Plancius work giraffe, cross and Einhorn also occasionally Hevelius, Bartsch or the otherwise little admitted astronomer Augustin Royer attributed. Hevelius dedicated to its king its star Atlas, January III.Sobieski, and placed in addition the coat of arms sign of its house as constellation sign to the summer sky. The Frontispiz shows Hevelius with the new constellation, before the MUSE Urania in the circle of famous astronomers. Nicolas Louis de Lacaille extended by 1750 after observation journeyto the cape of good hope in South Africa the constellations southern sky, usually topic tables of constellations, which should symbolize the technical progress, for instance the chemical furnace or the tire pump. Beside twelve new constellations also the allocation of the ship Argo goes intoVela, Puppis and Carina back. To this area of the sky Lacaille introduces thereby also a further nautical of constellations, the compass.
no more not used constellations
Julius Schiller tried 1627 by publication of a christianisierten star Atlas, the Coelum StellatumChristianum to replace the heidnischen constellations by figures of the Bible and holy ones whereby it fell back to Bavarian's catalog coordinates and improved and extended these, in co-operation with Bavarian. From the animal circle pictures for example the Apostel became. The attempt foundno large resemblance, but the Schiller' constellations by Andreas Cellarius (astronomer) in its artistic masterpiece Harmonia Macrocosmica on two plates were nevertheless illustrated, together certainly with the conventional constellations on further plates. The only originally Christian constellations, the cross andthe Einhorn, had omitted Bavarian, to whom Schiller referred, with the adaptation of Plancius. Jakob Bartsch, which manufactures 1624 in its book custom Astronomicus Biblical purchases of the existing constellations, undertook a less radical attempt of the Christianisierung.
The exampleHevelius' with the sign followed in the next 150 years numerous yard astronomers and set Insignien of their respective rule to the sky. Among the more well-known and at least occasionally constellations appeared in sky Atlases the Brandenburgi Szepter ranks or the royal bull ofPoniatowski, others appeared against it, except in the original dedication documents, never in a star map and served mainly the career promotion of the respective yard astronomer. The constellation sign is that only of these political pictures that is today still recognized.
1754 struckJohn Hill, probably with sow-Irish intention in view of the numerous contemporary extensions, 13 further constellations forwards, which were dedicated to low creatures after the time feeling, for example the toad, the earth worm, or the spider. The joke remained however unconsidered in the professional world.1789, after the discovery of the Uranus set Maximilian bright for the discoverer a monument, by he equivalent two new constellations, which introduced large and small telescope Herschels, about which however only the large, between twins and Auriga, longer on the star mapsto find was. Constellations were introduced every now and then also without political, scientific or at all special motivation. So justified Jérôme de Lalande the 1799 of it introduced constellation Felis simply with „I likes cats. This cat at the sky maps is to scratch.The starlit sky cost, now can me to enough ensuring I also a joke thereby have. “. It had however probably as ulterior motives to disprove through it Voltaire which did not like cats and during lifetimes gel branch ore had that the cat none of the manyAnimal constellations is.
Since since the invention of the telescope ever more stars and nebulas were found and listed, one needed these new constellations, in order to retain the overview, particularly also, there the antique constellations of parts of the sky, those the naked eyeappear unspektakulär (however not starless), simply omit. The number of well-known objects increased however so much that all too many of these extensions proved as unpractical, and so disappeared the later again. A first step for the standardization and general acknowledgmentthe constellations on the congress 1798 one undertook, at which numerous in the years before of the suggested constellations were rejected, others were again suggested. In a star Atlas of 1801 of Johann Elert Bode, which had participated in the congress, are nevertheless still altogether 99 constellations registered, as for instance „the hot-air balloon “, „the printer workshop “, „the northern fly “or also „the cat “.
Even after the final definition of the constellations 1928 there were occasionally suggestions on renaming of stars and constellations. Tomost well-known probably the 1944 are in Great Britain book “A published more better sky” from Alan Patrick Herbert, in whom this suggests the renaming of the constellations and from nearly 300 stars to names more up-to-date, since these are in-more usual humans. From Orionfor example „The Sailor should become “and its stars after sailors such as James Cook rename. Five stars in too „the The Tyrants “renamed Draco should the names of Attila, Hitler, Mussolini, Robespierre and Kublai Khan carry.
1922 by Henry Norris Russell a list of three-letter abbreviations for 89 constellations one suggested, whereby both Argo were specified and its parts. The reasons of Russells for its selection are not delivered, but itwas probably limited to the pictures, by which names of stars were specified in the Harvard Revised Catalogue, a standard work at that time. On the first general assembly of the IAU Russell suggested the list other astronomer, who positively took up her, and she became increasingcommon. Independently of it suggested two and vierbuchstabige abbreviations did not become generally accepted against it. The constellations are shortened also today still by the three letters suggested by Russell, z. B. during the designation of stars: The main star in the swan (Cygnus), α Cygniα Cyg is shortened.
1928 was endültig specified by the international astronomical union in suffering the this very day valid 88 constellations on the basis this list and their accurate borders in the equinox of 1875 were defined, around each celestial coordinate clearly to a constellation to assignto be able. The enormous constellation Argo, the ship of the Argonautensage, was finally divided thereby in Vela (the sail), Puppis (the afterdeck) and Carina (the keel) and painted by the constellation list. These three constellations have therefore only one sentenceBayer star designations: There is for example α Car, i.e. Kanopus, but none α Pup or α Vel. In similar way the Greek letters jump also between the two connected parts of Serpens (Serpentis caput and Serpentis cauda)back and forth. The stars γ Aur and δ Peg do not exist at all and/or. now β rope is called and α and. In former times they carried both designations next to each other, which however today in the sense of the clarity no longer is permitted.
The simplestgeometrical figure of the constellation borders, the square, seems nearly only in the south, to 9mal, while tenth (Sextans) is on the equator. The other extreme is Draco with not less than 50 corners and sides. The largestSurface of a constellation has Hydra (1302.84 square degrees), followed from Virgo, Ursa Maior, Cetus and Hercules (everything over 1200 square degrees). The largest southern constellation is followed Centaurus, of Sagittarius and Puppis. Related to the whole of all88 constellations is Phoenix (469.32 square degrees) next because of the average surface (468.83 square degrees)). Crux (68.45 square degrees ) and afterwards Equuleus are smallest. The size extremes of Crux and Hydra are reflected also against in the likewise extremal numberof neighbours. Crux has only 2, Hydra 12 genuine and a false, which is affected only in one point. There are false points of being based altogether 4, of it one in the north sky. In former times the constellations were divided according to the ecliptic, it gave thusthe constellations north the ecliptic, the ecliptic constellations and the southern constellations. One still finds this organization into the center 20. Century. It was first later by the tradition certainly, by the necessity, the range ecliptic to the Asteroidensucheto list separated and thoroughly. Meanwhile this separation is no more used and than north constellations those north the celestial equator is designated.
asterisms and constellations of other cultures
an asterism is a group of stars, thosegenerally admits is, but not when constellation applies. The most well-known asterism of the western world is the large car, whose stars constitute a part of the large bear. In different western cultures this asterism differently designated, for example bend Dipper in, however always from the same stars one forms for the USA. Other asterisms is the summer triangle and the winter hexagon. All cultures know asterisms, and that world-wide and since thousands of years most well-known is however not the large car, but the star cluster of the Pleiaden, whose can be proven to understanding as independent group nearly in each culture.
The old Egyptians divided the sky according to constellations, it are only few less well-known and agree not with the ours. In China one followedanother tradition, the there constellations are smaller than the western, alone the ecliptic of the Chinese tradition in 28 “Xiu” (宿) one divides, according to the distance, which the moon per day puts back. Similar 28-segmentige allocations gives it also inIndia and in the Islamic area, it are connected however not with figürlicher representation like the constellations. The representation in Chinese star maps is not figürlich also for the other there well-known constellations, but as also in the more modern western star maps throughLines connected stars. Beside astronomical star maps star maps in this tradition are received also for sea-navigation use.
With the Aztecs the constellation of the fire drill played a large role into every 52 years stattfindenen renewal ceremony. Which stars formed this, is todaydisputed. Only few of the Atzeki constellations are well-known, and only few of it can be located in the sky. The prä Islamic Beduinensternbildern Arabia is likewise only in exceptional cases admits and in the sky located.
The Australian Aborigines and the San (shrub people) instill further knows southern Africa except the pictures formed by stars. The dark dust clouds before the volume of the Milky Way are recognized of the Aborigines as Emu, of the San as a bunch, with the coal sack as head and the dust volumesbefore the Milky Way in protecting as bodies. These are the largest “star " of pictures in the sky. Besides at least the Aborigines knows still further dark pictures.
only few stars and constellations designated the Pacific peoples. Beside the pleiads, marked, above all things of the everyday environment and sea inhabitant are perpetuated their visibility in the eastern evening sky the yearly beginning as constellations. During some constellations with the western are congruent, differ the borders of most.
The inhabitants of the island Manus north of Papua New Guinea also today still among other things the following pictures know: The belt stars of the Orion are considered as Kanuinsassen, the southern crown as net, the river Eridanus as fishnet. An enormous constellation is the bird with the stars Sirius, Canopus and Procyon. Among the sea animals rank the crab (northern crown), and as fish the shark (parts protecting and the scorpio), the prick skate (the part of the scorpio with the shears) and further fish types, toExample in the Delfin or in some stars circles to be seen. With the constellations no legends are connected, but at the most short stories, which can be seized into few words. Particularly the fish constellations play here an interesting role. In the main catch seasonnone of it stands in the sky, but only if fishing is not worthwhile itself. The constellations in the sky symbolize so the absence of the fish in the sea. Also the beginning of the monsoon becomes in connection with then straight coming up constellation the birdbrought. Differently than other cultures the Manus did not use the constellations for navigation, because one can take each star according to its statement “, because they move all directly”.
list of the 88 constellations
|Latin name||German name||Abbreviation||Lat. Genitive||main star||fixed by|
|Antlia (Pneumatica) *||tire pump||Ant||Antliae||Lacaille|
|APUs||bird of paradise||Aps||Apodis||Plancius|
|of boat||bear guardian||Boo||Bootis||Arcturus||Ptolemäus|
|Caelum [Caela Sculptori] **||grave burin (tool of the sculptor) **||Cae||Caeli||Lacaille|
|Canes Venatici||of hunting dogs||CVn||Canum Venaticorum||Cor Caroli||Hevelius|
|Canis major||large dog||CMa||Canis Majoris||Sirius||Ptolemäus|
|Canis Minor||small dog||CMi||Canis Minoris||Prokyon||Ptolemäus|
|Carina||Kiel of theShip||Car||Carinae||Canopus||Lacaille|
|Coma Berenices||hair of the Berenike||Com||Comae Berenices||Diadem||Ptolemäus|
|Corona Australis||southern crown||CrA||Coronae Australis||Alfecca Meridiana||Ptolemäus|
|Corona Borealis||northern crown||CrB||Coronae Borealis||Alphekka (Gemma)||Ptolemäus|
|Crux (Australis) *||cross of the south||Cru||Crucis Australis||Acrux||Plancius|
|Fornax (Chemica) *||chemical furnace *||For||Fornacis||Fornacis||Lacaille|
|Gemini||twins||in accordance with||Geminorum||Castor||Ptolemäus|
|Hercules||Herkules||ago||Herculis||race to Algethi||Ptolemäus|
|Leo Minor||Small lion||LMi||Leonis Minoris||Praecipua||Hevelius|
|Ophiuchus||queue carrier||Oph||Ophiuchi||race to Alhague||Ptolemäus|
|Pavo||Pfau||Pav||Pavonis||Joo Tseo (Peacock)||Plancius|
|spades gate [Equuleus Pictoris] **||painters (staffelei) *||spades||Pictoris||Lacaille|
|Piscis Austrinus||southern fish||PsA||Piscis Austrini||Fomalhaut||Ptolemäus|
|Puppis||afterdeck of the ship||Pup||Puppis||Naos||Lacaille|
|Pyxis (Nautica) *||ship compass (compass of the sailor) **||Pyx||Pyxidis||Lacaille|
|[Apparatus sculpturis] protects **||sculptor (workshop) *||Scl||Sculptoris||Lacaille|
|Triangulum Australe||southern triangle||TrA||Trianguli Australis||Atria||Plancius|
|Ursa major||of large bar (large car)||UMa||Ursae Maioris||Alioth||Ptolemäus|
|Ursa Minor||of smallBar (small car)||UMi||Ursae Minoris||Polaris||Ptolemäus|
|Vela||sail of the ship||Vel||Velorum||Suhail aluminium strive-ran||Lacaille|
|(Piscis) Volans*||flying fish||of volume||of Volantis||Plancius|
with “*” characterizedNames are nowadays usually used without the parts in parentheses.
By “**” marks name, which was completely changed. The original name is located to colors in square brackets “
|”:||Northern starlit sky||of southern starlit skies|
hit a corner-hard
- literature Slawik, and enriches, Uwe: Atlas of the constellations, spectrum academic publishing house, 2004, ISBN 3-8274-0268-9
- Ridpath, Ian: The large constellations, Patmos publishing house, 2004, ISBN 349169112 the English expenditure “star of valley” on-line
- Gentleman Mr., Joachim: Dtv Atlas astronomy, German paperbacks publishing house, 2005, ISBN 3-423-03267-7
- everything, smelling pool of broadcasting corporations Hinckley: Star Names - Their truck and Meaning, Dover Publications Inc., New York, 1963, ISBN 0486210790.
- Delporte, E.: Délimitation scientifique constellation, tables et cartes. IAU,Ath the University press, Cambridge, 1930
Web on the left of
|Commons: Constellations - pictures, videos and/or audio files|
|Wiktionary: Constellation - word origin, synonyms and translations|
- photographies of the constellations
- list constellations no longer used (on English)
- second other list no longer more usedConstellations (on English)
- catalog data of the borders of the constellations
- Schillers Atlas of the Christian constellations of 1627
|This article was taken up to the list of the articles worth reading.|