Stars Patterns of stars in the sky are called constellations
thatÂ astronomers use them to pinpoint individual stars.
- most of the constellations were identified long ago by the stargazers of ancient Babylon and Greece.
- constellations are simply patterns – there is no real link between the stars
- astronomer today recognise 88 constellations.
- heroes and creatures of Greek myth, such as Orion and Perseus, provided the names for many constellations, although each name is usually written in its Latin form, not in Greek.
- the stars in each constellations are named after a letter of the Greek alphabet.
- the brightest star in each constellation is called the Alpha star, the next brightest Beta, and so on.
- different constellations become visible at different times of ear, as the Earth travels around the Sun.
- Southern Hemisphere constellation are different from those in the north.
- the constellation of the Great Bear, also known by it Latin name Ursa Major, contains an easily recognisable group of seven stars called the Plough or the Big Dipper.