What are constellations, and their appearance in the history of mankind

At a meeting of the Astronomical Union has been agreed that the total number of constellations reaches 88. And about 47 of them got their names in ancient times.Of these groups, the celestial bodies can be identified constellation Virgo, Big and Little Dipper, Aquarius, Cygnus, Triangle, Wolf, Hydra and many others.

If someone does not know what a constellation is a group of stars, which in most cases have a name from Greek mythology.Their study began in the second century BC the astronomer Hipparchus.He also made a special star catalog.In addition to Hipparchus in the second century, the study of the stars studied Ptolemy.His writings have been preserved under the name "Almagest".It was he who gave the names of all of the above groups, which also include the Taurus constellation, Cassiopeia, Andromeda and Auriga.

After a certain time, namely in 1603, scientists from Germany I. Bayer published a star atlas.It has to open before the constellations he added eleven new.These included Crane, Phoenix, Chameleon, Native American, etc.

Around 1690, astronomer J. Hevelius, ask questions about what the constellations, added to the general list of eleven groups of stars.Among them were the giraffe, unicorn, Chanterelle, Lynx and Shield.Moreover, giving the name of the stars, an astronomer guided very interesting considerations.For example, the constellation of Lynx was named because of its weak luminescence.As Hevelius said must have really seeing a lynx to see this group of stars.

After some time, namely, sixty years later, scholars began to work more closely on the issue of what is the constellation.That in 1752 they began to explore the southern part of the sky.This was discovered about fourteen constellations, among which are the furnace, Sculptor, Compass, Oktant, pumps, etc.

Today there are about 88 groups of stars.Among them there are even merge several constellations into a single group called the ship.This large constellation personified mythical feat Argonauts, who were able to get the golden fleece.Among all groups, one constellation is located in two of the heavenly spheres.This group of stars is called Snake.We can say that it is divided into two halves of the constellation Ophiuchus.In ancient atlases this combination looks very interesting.

If you give an answer to the question of what the constellation, it is understood that the commonly understood by them is not the structure that is created using a particularly bright stars, and a portion of the celestial sphere containing a certain figure.These figures are just formed with the help of bright stars.Furthermore, in the creation of the constellation includes all celestial bodies, which are disposed at a certain portion of the sky.Not all of them can be seen with the naked eye.Typically, the data to use special viewing device.

are underway, progress is not standing still.And who knows how many constellations will be, say, a few decades.