Each new star we find is generally considered to be part of the constellation it is nearest to.

Our Sun is obviously a star, just much closer. Is our Sun part of any constellation? If so, which constellation is it a part of?

nearby contellations

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    $\begingroup$ The constellations are how we see the stars from earth. The Earth revolves around the sun which is in the Milky Way Galaxy. universetoday.com/18256/where-is-the-sun $\endgroup$
    – user7915
    Commented Aug 10, 2015 at 3:37
  • $\begingroup$ From what conceivable distance would you have to be from our star in order to see what constellation our star is in, in relation to neighboring stars? $\endgroup$
    – user10713
    Commented Feb 8, 2016 at 3:26

5 Answers 5


Constellations are human constructs to make sense of the night sky. When you are trying to find your way around, it helps to "chunk" stars into patterns and assign those groupings names. When I want to point out a particular object in the sky (say Polaris, the North Star), I start by pointing out a familiar constellation (say Ursa Major, the Big Dipper). From there, I can tell my friend to follow this or that line to get them to look where I'm looking:

Finding the North Star

With the advent of computerized telescopes and large data sets, constellations are less important for professional astronomers. However, many stellar databases use Flamsteed or Bayer designations, which assign stars to constellations. In order to include all stars, the sky is divided into irregular regions that encompass the familiar constellations.

So, which constellations is the Sun assigned to? Well, from the perspective of someone on the Earth, the Sun moves through the constellations throughout the course of the year. Or rather, Sol moves through the region of the sky where some of the constellations would be seen if its light did not drown out distant stars. Our moon and the rest of the planets move through those same constellations. (The Greek phrase which gives us the word "planet" means "wandering star".)

The current position of the sun against the background of distant stars changes over the course of the year. (This is important for astrology.) It's a little easier to make sense of with a diagram:

How the sun is aligned with a particular constellation.

So perhaps a better question is:

What constellation does the Sun belong to today?

Presumably an observer on an exoplanet would assign Sol to some constellation that is convenient from her perspective. But from our perspective within the Solar system our sun, moon, and planets are not part of any constellation.

  • $\begingroup$ Why do you say Sun sometimes, and Sol other times? Sol is the portuguese word for Sun... $\endgroup$
    – Rodrigo
    Commented Jan 21, 2015 at 15:29
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    $\begingroup$ @Rodrigo: Yes. It's also the Latin word for the Sun. I hoped to convey that observers outside of our stellar system wouldn't have any particular attachment to our star. If it were close enough, they might have named it. (And while they wouldn't have named it "Sol", that's a pretty good placeholder.) My answer is trying to shift your perspective from thinking about the Sun as special (which, of course it is to us) to thinking of it as one of billions of stars. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 21, 2015 at 16:08
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    $\begingroup$ @JonEricson Just noting, the Big Dipper is an asterism, which lies in Ursa Major. They're not the same thing. $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 14, 2015 at 23:32
  • $\begingroup$ @Rodrigo Sol is also Swedish for (the) sun. In any case, every known star has a name. And while not official, as soon as we start to move outside our own little neighborhood and look at our star on a map in a wider context, "Sol" typically is what is is called because "Sun" does not as much feel like a name as a noun. And "The Sun" does not make it much prettier on the map. So "Sol" is quite simply prettier and the de facto name used when referring to our little star. For example: Sol in Elite: Dangerous. $\endgroup$
    – MichaelK
    Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 15:38

No, it does not. The constellations are fixed (on time scales long enough for humans to consider as fixed, at least) patterns of stars which exist on the celestial sphere. This celestial sphere is a coordinate system which has the Earth at its center. From the Earth's perspective, the sun rises and sets at the same rate as the constellations, but as the Earth revolves around the sun, the constellation the sun will appear to be in will change.

However, the constellation the sun appears to be in (if projected onto the celestial sphere), is exactly how the constellations of the Zodiac are determined.

  • $\begingroup$ Your answer comes closest to what I think is the key point: stars that appear close together from our point of view would likely appear randomly scattered when viewed from elsewhere in the universe. $\endgroup$
    – supercat
    Commented Oct 12, 2017 at 22:51

On a three-dimensional chart of the Galaxy, each of our constellations is an irregular cone with its peak at our Sun. Thus it belongs simultaneously to all constellations, or to none.

  • $\begingroup$ I wonder what a chart of our galactic neighborhood (say, thousand parsecs) would look like if a line were drawn from each star to the brightest other star as seen from there. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 1, 2023 at 16:46

We did an exercise on this particular subject at Secondary Modern School in 1958. With reference to"Patrick Moor" publications a 3-dimentional model wasmade of the nearest 50 stars. Particular reference to the "well known" ie:the plough.As the model evolved,those we are familiar with loose their familiarity because of the distance.The plough is familar if assumed all the same distance,they are not and the model highlights the lack of pattern if viewed from Orion's Belt. Our Sun did not appear to fit into any"Constellation type pattern"from any angle and all familiar ones were lost when viewed anywhere else. An interesting "Experiment" though.Try it.Cheers Colin


Yes, but it does not stay in the same constellation.

The Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune and all the other solar system objects move across the constellations of the Zodiac: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpius, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, Pices and Ophiuchus.

As of March 28, 2014, the Solar System is most likely traveling through Cancer, Virgo or Libra and will move on to Scorpius.

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    $\begingroup$ "... the Solar System is most likely traveling ..." -- I think you mean the Sun is most likely traveling. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 29, 2014 at 0:40
  • $\begingroup$ I think DeathItself misunderstood the question. $\endgroup$
    – HDE 226868
    Commented Jan 9, 2015 at 16:01

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