51 votes
Accepted

How are constellations intact if the stars are rotating around galactic nuclei?

Yes, the shape of the constellation does and will change over time. All the stars have their own peculiar velocities and have some random motion which over time will ruin all the constellations. ...
Aryan Bansal's user avatar
  • 1,095
35 votes
Accepted

Does this photo show the "Little Dipper" and "Big Dipper"?

As mentioned, these are the Pleiades, and the belt of Orion. These are visible in the South at this time of year. The Big and Little Dippers are in the North, so turn around. The best way to find ...
James K's user avatar
  • 118k
27 votes

Small bright constellation on the photo

The object inside the red circle is indeed The Pleiades. Note that it is not a constellation, it is an open star cluster located in the constellation Taurus. A good way to identify constellations in a ...
Albert's user avatar
  • 1,910
24 votes

Why are sometimes the brightest star of a constellation not named alpha?

Bayer didn't sort the stars strictly by brightness. He classified them as "first magnitude", "second magnitude" (and so on) following the traditional magnitudes assigned to stars ...
James K's user avatar
  • 118k
23 votes
Accepted

Martian Constellations

The stars are so immensely far away that to the human eye there would be no noticeable difference. The nearest stars are moving roughly 1.5 arcsecond wrt. the background when viewed from Earth's ...
pela's user avatar
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22 votes
Accepted

On the consistency of different well-polished astronomy software

If you set the date to 2018-04-06, Stellarium shows the Moon and planets in positions matching the example image. Any good planetarium software should produce a similar result. Most likely the vendor ...
Mike G's user avatar
  • 18.6k
22 votes

Do the inner-Earth planets actually align with the constellations we see?

Yes. There is nothing magical here. If two people look at the same object from two different viewpoints, then the background they see behind the object will be different. When I'm sitting at my ...
James K's user avatar
  • 118k
21 votes
Accepted

When the sun "enters" a constellation, doesn't it make it impossible to see that constellation?

It is true that, for an observer standing on Earth, the daytime sky blocks out our ability to see the stars (with the exception that stars are visible during a total eclipse). It is possible to get ...
Tim Campbell's user avatar
  • 1,551
21 votes

How are constellations intact if the stars are rotating around galactic nuclei?

Here's an animation I found that gives you an idea of the movements and timescales involved: It depicts the estimated movement of the Orion Constellation from 3 ...
Ingolifs's user avatar
  • 4,157
20 votes

face-on galaxy and edge-on galaxy

The terms refer to the viewing angle, i.e. from which direction do we observe a (disk) galaxy. If we happen to be located roughly in its plane of rotation, we see it from the "edge", whereas if we are ...
pela's user avatar
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17 votes
Accepted

Why do some images depict the same constellations differently?

You almost answer your question yourself: The answer is that there isn't a single, standardized way of joining the stars. The reason for this, from a scientific point of view, is that whatever ...
pela's user avatar
  • 37.6k
16 votes

face-on galaxy and edge-on galaxy

I just want to add pictures to augment pela's answer. Just google "edge on galaxy" and "face on galaxy" to find results like these, it is entirely about the viewing angle. Example of a face on ...
Cody's user avatar
  • 1,170
15 votes
Accepted

What Constellation Is This? (Photo Included)

If it was rather small, I suppose you were looking at the Pleiades, which is an open star cluster (not a constellation). Take a look at this web application: https://stellarium-web.org/ You can set a ...
theWrongAlice's user avatar
15 votes

What Constellation Is This? (Photo Included)

Yes, those are the Pleiades. The form corresponds exactly to the photo below: (source: Star-Gazing - the disk below the Pleiades is Venus, this is a photo from April) As @theWrongAlice says, they're ...
Glorfindel's user avatar
  • 4,790
14 votes
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Identify T-shaped constellation

From in-the-sky.org's Planetarium function for London on said date and time, we can see that Orion's belt is about 17° above the horizon in the west-south-west. @Greg Miller's comment is close: That'...
uhoh's user avatar
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13 votes
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If we could travel far enough would we be able to see a constelation in reverse?

If the stars are all similar distance from us, like the Pleiades, then yes, you could find a place from where the stars would appear in a similar pattern and brightness, but the pattern would be a ...
userLTK's user avatar
  • 23.9k
13 votes

Does this photo show the "Little Dipper" and "Big Dipper"?

The group of stars circled at the top of the photo is a star cluster named Pleiades. The Pleiades are in the constellation of Taurus. The group of stars circled at the bottom of the photo is part of ...
JohnHoltz's user avatar
  • 7,952
13 votes
Accepted

What is this constellation?

You can see the constellation Orion on this photo: (Screenshot from Stellarium) Aligning the original photo with this screenshot, I found the highlighted stars to be the following:
jng224's user avatar
  • 979
13 votes
Accepted

Small bright constellation on the photo

These are the Pleiades. I verified it comparing your photo with the Stellarium app.
Ralf Kleberhoff's user avatar
13 votes

Where are Modern Constellation lines defined?

In the book The Stars: A New Way to See Them, HA Rey redrew the stick figures to be much more sensible. This is the source of many of the "modern" or "western" versions used by ...
Greg Miller's user avatar
  • 5,622
11 votes
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How many stars are in the constellation Canis Minor?

You possibly are confused by these two entries in Wikipedia (click on the quotations to go to the original distinct entries: Canis Minor contains only two stars brighter than the fourth magnitude, ...
Eubie Drew's user avatar
  • 1,080
11 votes
Accepted

Are there any galaxies visible in the night sky around the Orion constellation?

The short answer is there are no galaxies in or around Orion that are visible to the naked eye. The International Astronomical Union (IAU) has some simplified star charts for each constellation. The ...
JohnHoltz's user avatar
  • 7,952
11 votes
Accepted

Locate stars in sky from list of (x, y) co-ordinates

Upload your photo to nova.astrometry.net and in a few minutes you will get a result page that tells you the plate scale in arcseconds/pixel, the celestial coordinates of the center of the frame, the ...
amateurAstro's user avatar
  • 1,565
11 votes
Accepted

Where are Modern Constellation lines defined?

The constellation lines in question resemble two of the "sky cultures" available in Stellarium: Modern (O. Hlad), based on Hlad et al. 1988, Hvězdná obloha 2000.0. Modern (H.A. Rey), ...
Mike G's user avatar
  • 18.6k
10 votes

Do all the planets travel along the same constellations?

The path of the sun would be very similar. The positions of the stars are almost exactly the same. They are so far away that moving to Jupiter won't change their apparent position in any way that you ...
James K's user avatar
  • 118k
9 votes
Accepted

Why do constellation names change (eg from Cancer to Cancri) when used as part of a star's name?

These are the Latin word endings. Latin nouns change their endings according to how the word is being used. English doesn't have this grammar. But note how the word "I" changes to "my". In Latin you ...
James K's user avatar
  • 118k
9 votes

Are there any galaxies visible in the night sky around the Orion constellation?

There are no naked eye galaxies in Orion. The brightest galaxies in Orion are NGC1924 (a magnitude 13 barred spiral, 130 million lightyear distant) and IC421 (a magnitude 14 spiral that hosted a ...
James K's user avatar
  • 118k
9 votes

What is this constellation?

The constellation in the lower right is Orion, characterized by its famous "belt" of 3 stars. The two stars in the top center and top right belong to Taurus, the latter being Aldebaran. I am ...
WarpPrime's user avatar
  • 6,633
9 votes

What Constellation Is This? (Photo Included)

In such situations, I find Astrometry.net particularly helpful. Feeding it your image, I got this result: Of course, the stars Pleione, Sterope, and Taygeta are enough to identify the Pleiades. While ...
Gallifreyan's user avatar

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