51 votes
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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. ...
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34 votes
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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 ...
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23 votes
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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 ...
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22 votes
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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 ...
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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 ...
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20 votes
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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 ...
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20 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 ...
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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 ...
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15 votes
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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13 votes
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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:
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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, ...
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11 votes
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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 ...
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10 votes
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Are the stars in constellation located in a plane or they are in different distances

Constellations and asterisms are generally not proximate in space, but rather happen to be nearby only when viewed from Earth. From Wikipedia's article on asterisms: Like constellations, asterisms ...
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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 ...
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9 votes

Identifying Constellations from Sky Maps

This is a pure knowledge question. Suppose you were shown a map of Asia. Could you identify India, China, Burma, etc. Yes, if you had learnt the countries, although they are basically random ...
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8 votes
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Is this the Cancer constellation?

Nope, that constellation is Perseus.
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8 votes
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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 ...
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8 votes
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Exactly how does Canis Minor look like a dog?

Quoting from wikipedia: Canis Minor was one of the original 48 constellations formulated by Ptolemy in his second-century Almagest, in which it was defined as a specific pattern (asterism) of stars;...
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8 votes
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Why oddly shaped constellation areas?

The constellations are artifacts of visual pattern recognition, many dating back to antiquity. As the stars are distributed unevenly, naturally some constellations are larger than others. Ptolemy ...
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8 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 ...
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8 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 ...
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7 votes
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Which is really larger, Big Dipper or Small Dipper, in 3D

To calculate that you will have to build a 3D model based upon the distance of each of their stars and then calculate the resulting 3D object's volume. I know this may not answer the question, but I ...
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7 votes

How many stars are in the constellation Canis Minor?

Aabaakawad's answer highlights an important aspect of any constellation: They are defined by a surface area on the sky, behind which many, many stars hide. In order to answer just how many stars, you'...
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7 votes

How did the ancients know the constellation in which the sun is located?

They made star maps. They mapped the posiitons of stars on the imaginary celestial sphere - whch they thought was an actual physical hollow sphere surrounding the Earth at some distance. Because the ...
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6 votes
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Have any planets been discovered in Orion constellation?

Yes, there are exo-planets discovered in the Orion constellation, for instance, the stars HD 37605 and HD 38529 both have two known planets. HD 38858 is also interesting, as it has a known planet, ...
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