You searched for: “constellation
Word Entries at Get Words: “constellation
A group of stars.

In many cases the stars involved are at incredible distances from one another, but they seem, from earth's perspective, to form groups.

constellation, constellations
1. One of the 88 areas into which the sky is divided for the purposes of identifying and naming celestial objects; such as, animals or mythical figures.

The first recorded constellation were arbitrary patterns of stars in which early civilizations visualized their gods, sacred creatures, and mythical heroes.

The constellations being presented now are derived from a list of 48 known to the ancient Greeks, who inherited some of them from the Babylonians.

The current list of 88 constellations was adopted in 1930 by the International Astronomical Union, astronomy's governing body.

2. A group of stars lying in a part of the celestial sphere.

The boundaries of the 88 accepted groups have been set by international convention; their positions are described in terms of right ascensions and declinations.

This entry is located in the following unit: Astronomy and related astronomical terms (page 7)