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Author: Amanda Soderlind

This lesson will demonstrate how to predict constellations in the night sky.

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Constellations are patterns formed by stars in the night sky. Some constellations resemble animals, some resemble people, some resemble objects and some resemble mythical creatures. Some are somewhat easy to imagine as you look at the stars they are composed of while others require much more imagination. Aside from entertainment and star identification there is little use for constellations today. In the past constellations were used largely for navigation purposes, to predict changing of seasons for farmers and for storytelling. Constellations you see in the sky will change from season to season as the earth moves around the sun and our view of the sky changes. For example, some constellations are only visible to us in the winter. If you are familiar with these seasonal constellations you can predict when you will be able to see them. Some constellations you may be familiar with are the big dipper, Orion, Sagittarius (and all the other zodiac symbols) and Hercules. There are a total of 88 identified constellations in the night sky!