What are the constellations and their appearance in the history of mankind?
At one of the meetings of the astronomical unionit is agreed that the total number of constellations reaches 88. And about 47 of them got their names back in ancient times. From these groups of celestial bodies, we can distinguish the constellation Virgo, Big and Little Dipper, Aquarius, Swan, Triangle, Wolf, Hydra and many others.
If someone does not know what constellations are, then this isa group of stars, which in most cases has names from Greek mythology. Their study began in the second century BC by the astronomer Hipparchus. He also compiled a special star catalog. In addition, in addition to Hipparchus in the second century, Ptolemy studied the stars. His works were saved under the name "Almagest". It was he who gave the names to all of the above groups, which also include the constellation Taurus, Cassiopeia, Andromeda and Auriga.
After a certain time, namely inIn 1603 the scientist from Germany I. Bayer published his atlas of stars. In it to the already open earlier constellations, he added eleven new ones. They include Crane, Phoenix, Chameleon, Indian, etc.
Around 1690, the astronomer Ya. Hevelius, wondering what constellation is, added to the general list of eleven groups of stars. Among them were the Giraffe, the Unicorn, the Fox, the Lynx and the Shield. And, giving out names to stars, the astronomer was guided by very interesting considerations. For example, the constellation Lynx was named because of its weak luminescence. As Hevelius noted, it is necessary to have a true vision of the lynx to see this group of stars.
After a while, namely through the sixtyyears, scientists began to work more carefully on the question of what constellations are. It was in 1752 that they began to study the southern part of the sky. At the same time, about fourteen constellations were discovered, among which are the Oven, Sculptor, Compass, Octant, Pump, etc.
To date, about 88 stargroups. Among them there is even the union of several constellations into one general group called the Ship. This great constellation personified the mythical feat of the Argonauts, who were able to obtain the golden fleece.Among all the groups one constellation is locatedimmediately in two celestial areas. This group of stars is called Snake. We can say that it is divided into two halves by the constellation Ophiuchus. On ancient atlases this combination looks very interesting.
If we answer the question of what isconstellation, it is worthwhile to understand that under them is usually understood not the structure that is created with the help of particularly bright stars, but any part of the celestial sphere that contains certain figures. These figures are formed with the help of bright stars. In addition, the creation of the constellation involved all the celestial bodies, which are located in a certain area of the sky. Not all of them can be seen with the naked eye. Usually, special surveillance devices are used for this purpose.
Times go, progress does not stand still. And who knows how many constellations will, say, in a few decades.