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Use the following slides as
desired.
Slides are from
http://www.cs.wright.edu/~tkprasad/AstronomyMedley/U4_Constellation
s.ppt
Ursa Major
• Ursa Major, the Great Bear, is visible in the Northern Hemisphere
all year long.
• Ursa Major is the best known of the constellation and it appears
in every reference known.
• The story behind it:
– Callisto was changed to a bear because of Zeus's jealousy and transferred
her to the sky. This is improbable, as the constellation was already well
established before this time. The drawings all show a bear with a long
tail, again not likely correct since bears have no tails. The most likely
explanation for the bears is the fact that Native Americans called the
constellations the bear, but instead of the tail they depict the bear being
chased around the pole by seven braves.
Ursa Major
Ursa Major
Circumpolar Constellation
How to find the Big Dipper
Ursa Minor
• Ursa Minor, the Little Bear, is visible in the Northern
Hemisphere all year long.
• Ursa Minor is mostly known for Polaris, the North Star
which may be found at the end of the handle.
• The story behind it:
– Ursa Minor does not have any mythology attached to it, it was
created in the 6th century B.C. as a navigational aid for sailors
out of a long forgotten constellation called the Dragon's wing.
Ursa Minor
Circumpolar Constellation
Cepheus
• The story behind it:
– Cepheus was the King of Ethiopia. He married Cassiopeia and they
had a daughter Andromeda. Cassiopeia was incredibly beautiful but
immensely vain. She was also proud of her daughter's beauty. In fact
she continually boasted that the two of them were more beautiful than
any of the fifty sea nymphs who attended Poseidon's court.
– These nymphs (the Nereids) complained to Poseidon, who felt he had
to defend his own reputation. So he sent a flood to devastate Cepheus'
kingdom. The oracles told Cepheus that in order to save his people he
must sacrifice his daughter to a great sea monster: Andromeda was
tied to a rock along the coastline, dressed only in her jewelry. The
monster would be along in due time to take his prize.
– At that moment Perseus came flying by. He had just killed the Gorgon
Medusa and was carrying the severed head back to Athene. To make a
long story short, he saved her then turned everyone into stone by
showing them the severed head.
– Poseidon then put the stone frozen Cepheus and Cassiopeia into the
heavens, but with a twist: he made the vain Cassiopeia spin around on
her chair, spending half the year upside down. As for Cepheus,
Poseidon gave him a number of medium sized stars that go to make his
square face with a pointed crown.
Cepheus
Circumpolar Constellation
Cassiopeia
• This constellation is at the edge of the Milky
Way galaxy and has the shape of a "W".
• The story behind it:
– Cassiopeia had been the wife of Cepheus.
Because she thought herself more beautiful than
the daughters of Nereus, a god of the sea, she
angered the god Poseidon. To punish her, her
daughter was chained to a rock of the coast as a
sacrifice for a sea monster. Andromeda was
saved from death by Perseus. To learn humility
Cassiopeia was banned to the sky hanging half of
the time head downward.
Cassiopeia
Circumpolar Constellation
Draco
• Draco, the Dragon, used to hold
special significance as the location of
the pole star, but due to the Earth's
precession, the pole has shifted to
Polaris in Ursa Minor.
•
The story behind it:
– The dragon is Ladon, the guardian of
the 'golden apples' of immortality
which grew in the garden of
Hesperides, beyond the River of
Time, in the land of death. It is Ladon
which Hercules kills in his 11th labor
to get the golden apples.
Draco
Circumpolar Constellations
Circumpolar Constellations
Circumpolar Constellations
Circumpolar Constellations
Circumpolar Constellations
Circumpolar
Constellations
Orion
• Orion is the master of the winter skies. He lords over the
heavens from late fall to early spring, with his hunting dog
Sirius trailing at his feet.
• The story behind it: (Orion holding a bow)
– Orion was a handsome and famous hunter. The Battle-Goddess
Anat fell in love with him, but when he refused to lend her his
bow, she sent another man to steal it. This chap bungled the job,
and wound up killing Orion and dropping the bow into the sea.
This is said to explain the astronomical fact that Orion and the
Bow (an older version of the constellation) drops below the
horizon for two months every spring.
• Another story behind it: (Orion holding an animal)
– Orion was known as the "dweller of the mountain", and was
famous for his prowess both as a hunter and as a lover. But
when he boasted that he would eventually rid the earth of all the
wild animals, his doom may have been sealed. The Earth
Goddess sent the deadly scorpion to Orion to kill him. Orion
engaged the scorpion in battle but quickly realized its amour was
impervious to any mortal's attack. Orion then jumped into the sea
and died. In his eternal hunting, Orion is careful to keep well
ahead of the scorpion. Orion has disappears over the horizon by
the time Scorpio rises in the east, as it becomes his turn to rule
the evening sky.
Orion
Not a circumpolar constellation, but a seasonal constellation
Betelgeuse, the right arm of Orion (or "armpit" as the name suggests), glows with a
dull red.
Rigel, in the opposite corner of the constellation, is much brighter.
• Orion
•On the left: The Hunter - Orion
•In the middle: Name: The Bull - Taurus
•On the right: Name: The Greater Dog - Canis Major
• On the left: The Lion - Leo
– There is a record of the Lion in an astronomical poem from
Greece in the 3rd or 4th century B.C.
• In the middle: The Herdsman - Böötes
• On the right: The Virgin - Virgo
– At first, this constellation was recognized as the figure of a stalk
of wheat, and then was introduced to the Greeks and become the
figure of a virgin who holds a stalk of wheat, linking it with Greek
mythology and legend.
• On the left: The Crab - Cancer
– Its name is Cancer in Latin, which is the same name as the disease,
cancer. This disease was named after the shell of the crab, which is
similar to the shape of breast cancer.
• In the middle: The Scorpion - Scorpio
– The Scorpion has existed since the oldest of times. After sunset, around
the 7th of July, you can see it in the shape of a large S above the
southern horizon where the milky way is streaming down. The figure of
this constellation was originally the figure of a scorpion with scissors.
Later the scissors were separated to become the Balance.
• On the right: The Archer - Sagittarius
– The Archer has been recognized since the Babylonian era. At that time it
was the figure of a man with a bow in his hand, not the present figure of
the half man half horse which is recognized in Greek mythology.
• On the left and in the middle: Andromeda
– The Andromeda constellation is famous for containing the
Andromeda Nebula, the closest galaxy to our Milky Way.
Andromeda was chained up for a sea monster to devour her.
– Andromeda is also the daughter of Cassiopeia & Cepheus
• On the right: The Fishes, Pisces
– In ancient Babylon, this constellation was viewed as the figure of
a mermaid tied together with a swallow with a fish tail. The
present figure appeared in a 3rd or 4th century B.C. Greek
poem.
Signs
Of The
Zodiac
From our
perspective on
earth, the sun
takes a path
through the sky
(known as the
ecliptic). It
passes through
these
constellations.
Ecliptic Constellations & Zodiac Signs
• A band of 12 constellations around the sky
entered on the ecliptic (apparent path of
the sun on the earth as the earth revolves
around it).
• Aries, Leo, Sagittarius, Taurus, Virgo,
Capricorn, Gemini, Libra, Aquarius,
Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces.
Ecliptic Constellations
Andromeda
Antlia
Apus
Aquarius
Aquila
Ara
Aries
Auriga
Boötes
Caelum
Camelopardalis
Cancer
Canes Venatici
Canis Major
Canis Minor
Capricornus
Carina
Cassiopeia
Centaurus
Cepheus
Cetus
Chamaeleon
Circinus
Columba
Coma Berenices
Corona Australis
Corona Borealis
Corvus
Crater
Crux
Cygnus
Delphinus
Dorado
Draco
Equuleus
Eridanus
Fornax
Gemini
Grus
Hercules
Horologium
Hydra
Hydrus
Indus
Lacerta
Leo
Leo Minor
Lepus
Libra
Lupus
Lynx
Lyra
Mensa
Microscopium
Monoceros
Musca
Norma
Octans
Ophiuchus
Orion
Pavo
Pegasus
Perseus
Phoenix
Pictor
Pisces
Piscis Austrinus
Puppis
Pyxis
Reticulum
Sagitta
Sagittarius
Scorpius
Sculptor
Scutum
Serpens
Sextans
Taurus
Telescopium
Triangulum
Triangulum Australe
Tucana
Ursa Major
Ursa Minor
Vela
Virgo
Volans
Vulpecula