Constellations have been in existence for thousands of years. The ancient Greeks used the stars in various ways. They would practically use them to tell what time of year it was. In addition to that, they would form patterns from the stars above to tell tales of their different gods and heroes in their traditions.
Apart from the Greeks, other early civilizations had different interpretations of the constellations in their folklore. However, the Greek constellations were the ones that influenced and opened the way for the ones that exist today.
The concept of constellations started from the earlier constellations to the new ones we have today. There were 48 constellations originally but 40 more were added over time by astronomers who have studied space. Officially there are 88 constellations, which are mapped in the sky above us, from every pole making a sphere around our planet.
The patterns are of different kinds, shapes and sizes. The earlier ones range from all kinds of animals to gods, while the modern ones range from partial tools to all other sorts of inventions derived from astronomy.
It has been widely decided that the list of constellations stops at 88, because astronomers have completely mapped out the sky around our planet, Earth.
The astronomers use the celestial sphere to map out the sky above. This sphere is not actually a real sphere, but an imaginary one that is used to map out the existing constellations and to have knowledge of where everything is all year round.
As the Earth revolves and rotates, the constellations move around as well. In particular areas of our planet, some constellations cannot be viewed at any time of year; therefore it necessitates the need of a map. Different areas have different maps that join up together, or divide out into maps known as charts. There are 6 sky charts: Chart 1 is the North Pole Sky, Chart 2 is the South Pole Sky, Chart 3-Chart 6 is known as Equatorial Sky.
The 88 Constellations
Here, we take a look at the complete list of the constellations. The list gives the name of every constellation (in alphabetical order) and the meaning. As we saw earlier, there are 88 constellations. 42 of them are animals, 29 are objects and 17 are humans (mythological characters).
|1. Andromeda||The captive princess||45. Lacerta||The lizard|
|2. Antlia||The air pump||46. Leo||The lion|
|3. Apus||The bird of paradise||47. Leo Minor||The little lion|
|4. Aquarius||The water carrier||48. Lepus||The hare|
|5. Aquila||The eagle||49. Libra||The scales|
|6. Ara||The altar||50. Lupus||The wolf|
|7. Aries||The ram||51. Lynx||The lynx|
|8. Auriga||The charioteer||52. Lyra||The lyre|
|9. Bootes||The herdsman||53. Mensa||The table mountain|
|10. Caelum||The chisel||54. Microscopium||The microscope|
|11. Camelopardalis||The giraffe||55. Monoceros||The unicorn|
|12. Cancer||The crab||56. Musca||The fly|
|13. Canes Venatici||The hunting dogs||57. Norma||The set square|
|14. Canis Major||The greater dog||58. Octans||The octant|
|15. Canis Minor||The little dog||59. Ophiuchus||The serpent holder|
|16. Capricornus||The sea goat||60. Orion||The hunter|
|17. Carina||The keel||61. Pavo||The peacock|
|18. Cassiopeia||The vain queen||62. Pegasus||The winged horse|
|19. Centaurus||The centaur||63. Perseus||The victorious hero|
|20. Cepheus||Mythical king of Ethiopia||64. Phoenix||The phoenix|
|21. Cetus||The sea monster||65. Pictor||The painter’s easel|
|22. Chamaeleon||The chameleon||66. Pisces||The fish|
|23. Circinus||The compasses||67. PiscisAustrinus||The southern fish|
|24. Columba||The dove||68. Puppis||The stern|
|25. Coma Berenices||Bernice’s hair||69. Pyxis||The compass|
|26. Corona Australis||The southern crown||70. Reticulum||The net|
|27. Corona Borealis||The northern crown||71. Sagitta||The arrow|
|28. Corvus||The crow||72. Sagittarius||The archer|
|29. Crater||The cup||73. Scorpius||The scorpion|
|30. Crux||The southern cross||74. Sculptor||The sculptor|
|31. Cygnus||The swan||75. Scutum||The shield|
|32. Delphinus||The dolphin||76. Serpens||The serpent|
|33. Dorado||The goldfish||77. Sextans||The sextant|
|34. Draco||The dragon||78. Taurus||The bull|
|35. Equuleus||The foal||79. Telescopium||The telescope|
|36. Eridanus||The river||80. Triangulum||The triangle|
|37. Fornax||The furnace||81. Triangulum Australe||The southern triangle|
|38. Gemini||The twins||82. Tucana||The toucan|
|39. Grus||The crane||83. Ursa Major||The great bear|
|40. Hercules||The strong man||84. Ursa Minor||The little bear|
|41. Horologium||The pendulum clock||85. Vela||The sails|
|42. Hydra||The water snake||86. Virgo||The virgin|
|43. Hydrus||The little water snake||87. Volans||The flying fish|
|44. Indus||The Indian||88. Vulpecula||The fox|