One of the most beautiful sights is a starry sky on a clear night, particularly when you’re a fair distance from any city. The “light pollution” from electrical devices becomes virtually nonexistent and the stars, normally plentiful on such a night, become multitudinous.
Those with a little bit of experience can typically find the Big Dipper and Little Dipper, although sticklers for accuracy will all them the Big Bear (Ursa Major) and Little Bear (Ursa Minor). Orion’s Belt helps many people find Orion. The Southern Cross is immediately recognizable to most people from the southern hemisphere. Many people have learned to recognize the constellation which corresponds to their particular astrological sign.
After that, it starts to get iffy. This, despite the fact that there are 88 distinct constellations recognized by modern science.
Sure, many people may know Hydra, and Perseus, and Hercules, Pegasus and Andromeda… perhaps not exactly where to find them, but they’re known to exist. What gets lost are some of the lesser-known constellations.
Examples abound, such as Berenice’s Hair (Coma Berenices), or the Giraffe (Camelopardus), or the Clock (Horologium) or the Sculptor’s Tools (Sculptor). Here’s a list to all 88 of them, from the NASA website.
Just to test yourself, though, here are ten possibilities… seven are real, three aren’t. Take your guesses, then go over to the linked list to see if you were correct… or just scroll down after a bunch of spaces, your choice.
- Monoceros, the Unicorn
- Liber, the Book
- Triangulum, the Triangle
- Tucana, the Toucan
- Pictor, the Easel
- Musca, the Fly
- Mus, the Mouse
- Spheara, the Spinning Wheel
- Antlia, the Air Pump
- Fornax, the Furnace
This is just a space, to keep things interesting and (hopefully) to make people scroll before seeing the answers.
Answers: Liber, the Book; Mus, the Mouse; and Spheara, the Spinning Wheel are all fake.
Question of the night: If you could make a new constellation that would last for centuries, what would it be?