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Do you know your constellations?

  • Do you know your constellations?

    Humans used to think they were the center of the universe, but in actuality, mankind is not even the center of the galaxy. The Milky Way is pulled together by the dark, swirling masses of black holes packed with matter—potentially thousands.

    As he gazed up at the night sky, Greco-Roman astronomer Ptolemy couldn’t have predicted the existence of gravity so concentrated it devours light. Comforted by geocentrism—the idea that humankind was at the heart of it all—the scientist recorded and charted paths of stars thousands of light years away: 48 constellations in all.

    It may be getting harder to see the stars, but their stories prevail. In 2009, Pew Research reported that 25% of Americans believe in astrology. With this in mind, Stacker compiled 30 of the most compelling constellations, and the stories behind them. These slides are in question-and-answer format: a clue is provided on the first slide with a photo showing the constellation (via, and the correct constellation outlined on the second.

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  • Mystery constellation #1

    This constellation is home to the Little Dipper.


  • Ursa Minor

    Known to the ancient Babylons as the "wagon of heaven," Ursa Minor is home to the group of stars known as the Little Dipper. It is also home to the North Star, Polaris, which rests at the tip of the Little Dipper's handle.


  • Mystery constellation #2

    Which constellation is represented by the mythological satyr in Greek mythology?


  • Sagittarius

    If you look up late on a summer night and see a bow flashing across the Milky Way, you may have just spotted Sagittarius—a “satyr” to the Greeks. The Sun shines through Sagittarius in the winter months, making it the last Zodiac sign in the calendar year.


  • Mystery constellation #3

    The largest recognized constellation, home to smaller constellations like Hercules.


  • Hydra

    The Hydra covers more than 3% of Earth's night sky, making it the largest in the solar system. Hydra is best seen snaking around the Milky Way during the fall months.


  • Mystery constellation #4

    This is the only constellation easily visible to the naked eye from the Northern Hemisphere that lives outside of the Milky Way.


  • Andromeda

    A hazy mass resembling a risen moon, Andromeda can be seen best in the dead of night during late November—but not well enough for individual stars to be identified without a telescope.


  • Mystery constellation #5

    In Greek mythology, this constellation is said to resemble twins Castor and Pollux.


  • Gemini

    An orange-giant (Pollux) and sextulet star system (Castor) are said to be the heads of the twins in Gemini. One of the 13 Zodiac signs, Geminis are rumored to love gathering facts.


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