Every culture known to history and anthropology has seen in the heavens distinctive patterns, called , and formed by the stars. are usually comprised of bright stars that appear close to each other. Oriental cultures (the ancient Chinese, for example) formed intricate patterns from some of the faintest stars, creating hundreds of where the West saw only a few. A few , such as Orion, the hunter, and the Great bear represent the same image to widely separated cultures.
So just what are these you keep hearing about? You may go outside some night and see all kinds of stars, and maybe you have even spotted the Southern Cross, but what about Leo the Lion or Pisces the Fish? What are ...

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realise, "Oh! That's part of Orion!" Suddenly, the rest of the constellation falls into place and you can declare: "There's Betelgeuse in Orion's left shoulder and Rigel is his foot." And once you recognise Orion, you can remember that Orion's Hunting Dogs are always nearby.
Where did the come from?
OK, so we know the are helpful for remembering the stars, but why would people want to do that (besides an astronomer)? After all, I said at the beginning that farmers invented the . Why did they do that? Was it for some religious purpose?
Yes and no. Around the world, farmers know that for most crops, you plant in the spring and harvest in autumn. But in some regions, there is not much differentiation between the seasons. Since different are visible at different times of the year, you can use them to tell what month it is. For example, Scorpius is only visible in the Northern Hemisphere's evening sky in the summer. When they saw certain , they would know it was time to begin the ...

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Constellations. (2004, June 21). Retrieved January 21, 2019, from
"Constellations.", 21 Jun. 2004. Web. 21 Jan. 2019. <>
"Constellations." June 21, 2004. Accessed January 21, 2019.
"Constellations." June 21, 2004. Accessed January 21, 2019.
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Added: 6/21/2004 11:14:33 PM
Category: Science & Nature
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 660
Pages: 3

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