As a navigation tool and a spiritual guide in the ancient times, the constellations are a reminder that the night sky and stars are the big sources of knowledge and mysteries. Every one of the constellations has its special meaning, shape, visibility, stars within them that are highly important, place in the universe and a beautiful folklore story behind them. Use your eyes and observe the night sky to find the mysterious and unique beauty of the constellations and the stars within them. How to find them in the sky? Which are the biggest constellations?
What are constellations?
For constellations to be described simply, you should know that they are a group of particular stars together in one place as patterns of imagination on the celestial sphere. In Latin, the word for constellation has the meaning of a ‘’group of stars’’.
They always have a special spiritual explanation behind them. Many of them through history represented kinds of animals, a mythological creature, a mythological person or gods. Today, the real purpose of the constellations is discovered, they help people to find about stars and how to differentiate them.
Really dark and highly clear sky can give you the chance to see from 1500 to 2000 different stars. That many stars in one place are hard to difference. Because of that, the constellations allow you to differentiate the stars better by breaking manageable bits of the stars up in the sky. Giving you a star atlas of the sky with grouping the stars by its belonging
Aside from the clear and dark sky, different constellations can be seen in different parts of the year, different seasons and months, and some of them can be seen only on a specific hemisphere of the Earth.
The top 10 biggest constellations
Astronomers spent many years researching the sky, the stars, and their grouping into constellations, finding and ranking the constellations that are the biggest. Every one of the constellations has a name based on the form on the sky their form.
The top 10 biggest constellations are:
- The Hydra, also known as The Sea Serpent. Not only this constellation is the biggest but also is the largest in the sky space.
- The Virgo, or known as The Virgin.
- The Ursa Major, known as The Great Bear. Highly popular and known among people, its name comes from the fact that the shape on the sky formed by this constellation looks like a bear.
- Cetus, also known as The Whale or as The Sea Monster. Forming a whale shape in the sky gave the name of this constellation.
- The Hercules constellation, fifth in ranking and known as The Hero Hercules. This name comes from the shape in the sky like a warrior that holds a sword in the hand, looking like the mythological half god Hercules.
- Eridanus also known as The River Eridanus. The stars in these constellations, one by one in a line, are forming a shape as the river Eridanus.
- Pegasus or The Winged Horse. The amazing and breathtaking constellation that got its name from the fact that the stars in the constellations form a beautiful winged horse.
- The Draco or known as The Dragon. The stars contained in this constellation form a huge dragon on the sky.
- The Centaurus, also known by its other name The Centaur. This constellation forms a mythological creature in the sky, half person, and half a horse.
- And the tenth constellation based by its bigness is Aquarius known as The Water Bearer. Similar as The Centaur, this constellation also gives a mythological form on the sky, creating an Aquarius.
How to find constellations in the sky?
Knowing the names and placement of the constellations on the sky and the specific shapes they form on the sky, you can use the clear and dark sky to explore their beauties.
For better assistance, you should try and use a sky map. The map will help you to look for constellations in the right direction and specific time of the year suitable for a particular constellation.
You can see constellations better far from the city, where the sky is clearer. Also, darker sky helps too. If you want detailed experience, try using a telescope or maybe binoculars to see the features of the constellations better.
Trying to find easier the constellation you are interested in, try to orient yourself towards the North Star. With finding the North Star you will be able to find every constellation on the sky faster.
Which constellations you will be able to see depends on the season, time of the year, month, and your location. Using your sky map, learning about the shape and location of the constellations would definitely help you with your night sky exploring of the stars and their beauty.