All Blog Posts Tagged 'constellations' (17)

Mensa - the table

tableboat Mensa means "table." It is also the name of a southern constellation mapped out by Nicolas Louis de Lacaille.



Originally Lacaille meant for this area of the sky to be named "Table Mountain" after a place in Africa near Cape Town. People casually shortened the name…
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Added by Brad Snowder on March 10, 2017 at 8:41am — 1 Comment

Microscopium - the microscope

microscope Having named one southern constellation after a telescope, Lacaille named another after the microscope. The two star groups are beside each other. It seemed only right since each of these inventions expanded our level of consciousness by orders of magnitude, albeit in opposite…
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Added by Brad Snowder on February 25, 2017 at 2:33pm — 1 Comment

Ophiuchus - the serpent bearer

You gotta be crazy, taking on a big bruiser like him. The constellation of Ophiuchus represents a big guy who figured out how to kill snakes and then bring them back to life. He figured if it worked on snakes it should work on humans too. The gods killed him of course, because…
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Added by Brad Snowder on January 21, 2017 at 6:29pm — 5 Comments

Orion - the hunter

orioneer After the Big Dipper, Orion is easily the most known and the most pointed out constellation by the people who recognize at least some of them. There is the obvious belt, although Orion lived BP (Before Pants) so he wears a short skirt, or kilt or such, and below that hangs his…
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Added by Brad Snowder on January 14, 2017 at 12:49pm — No Comments

Pegasus - the winged horse

tattoo_win2 One of the bigger autumn constellations is in the Perseus group, Pegasus. It's just the front half of a horse, and the wings of course. These figures in the sky are not always the whole figure, sometimes it's half. It's good that they chose to use the front half of the horse…
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Added by Brad Snowder on January 1, 2017 at 12:47pm — No Comments

Piscis Austrinus - the southern fish

zatarains The autumn sky includes the constellation of Piscis Austrinus, which is currently distinguished from neighboring Pisces Not-Austrinus with the convenient moniker Austrinus which means "Southern." At one time many folks referred to these stars as being "The Great Fish" as…
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Added by Brad Snowder on November 27, 2016 at 12:40am — No Comments

Pyxis - the compass box

130277 Pyxis is a constellation in the southern sky that honors the mariner's compass. Short of the Internet itself, few things have shrunk our world like a free-floating magnetized needle.



The constellation is basically just three stars in a line…
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Added by Brad Snowder on November 12, 2016 at 2:02pm — No Comments

Sagitta - the arrow

sge_03 Sagitta is a tiny constellation whose dots actually connect to make an arrow, complete with fletching feathers. It's one of the older names for a group of stars but then the bow and arrow as a weapon goes way back, probably invented more than 60,000 years ago. So the constellation…
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Added by Brad Snowder on October 29, 2016 at 6:57pm — 2 Comments

Taurus - the bull

babalooey The constellation Taurus is one of the oldest and most famous of the sky-critters. There are indications that folks associated these stars with a bull all the way back to the copper age, which is really just the bronze age before the upgrade. But great starlore doesn't…
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Added by Brad Snowder on September 11, 2016 at 12:31am — 2 Comments

Telescopium - the telescope

Brad's Jeep and Meade Nick Lacaille named a constellation Telescopium in order to honor a specific telescope, the one at the Paris Observatory. But then the heavenly borders got all rearranged and they had to cut off the top of the scope as Nick had drawn it. So as a result they had to use…
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Added by Brad Snowder on September 4, 2016 at 1:00pm — 3 Comments

Tucana - the toucan

toucanasam The southern constellation of Tucana was named after a colorful South American bird in the late sixteenth century by Petrus Plancius. It is small but important. It contains some of our best examples of cosmic real estate, a dwarf galaxy and a globular cluster, both orbiting the Milky Way.…
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Added by Brad Snowder on August 13, 2016 at 11:10pm — 4 Comments

Ursa Minor - the little bear

lilbear Ursa Minor, the lesser bear, is a very important constellation because it is home to Polaris, the north star. It is also home to the Little Dipper which is very easy to find once you've actually found it. If you don't see it right away just nod and say "Yeah. yeah I see it" but…
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Added by Brad Snowder on July 31, 2016 at 12:32pm — 3 Comments

Volans

white-winged-fish There is a tiny constellation near the southern pole of the sky named Volans, the Flying Fish. Unfortunately there is no cute little story here about a fish getting its wish to have wings or such. The only story we have is that this part…
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Added by Brad Snowder on July 10, 2016 at 11:00am — No Comments

Autumn Bliss

For those of us who could use the extra help. Capricornus the Seagoat

The name Capricornus has been shortened to Carpricorn by some folks. But that is a very recent thing, like only in the last hundred years maybe. Either way, it means Seagoat. And Seagoat is the oldest known name still in use for anything in the whole sky. People have been calling these stars the Seagoat for more than 7000…

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Added by Brad Snowder on June 15, 2013 at 11:19am — 4 Comments

Summer Swelter

The fish gets bigger every time he tells it. Scorpius the Scorpion

In the scorpion we find lots of bright stars that make an obvious fish hook shape, especially when you ignore the claws that the Romans surgically shortened in order to make Libra. In fact some natives of the south pacific call this constellation "Maui's Hook." You see Maui is one of the gods in the lands down under. His…

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Added by Brad Snowder on June 8, 2013 at 11:18pm — 1 Comment

Spring Thaw

With great bangs comes great responsibility. Leo the Lion

The big kitty is one of the few real connect-the-dots sort of allegories. It makes a reasonable stick figure of an animal at least. The Chinese call it the horse. It takes some imagination. If you try to connect the dots you may get something that looks like a coat hanger after it's been used to unlock a car door. That's how I drew…

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Added by Brad Snowder on June 1, 2013 at 3:49pm — 3 Comments

Winter Beast

Did you know that the artist who made the Wall Street Bull was never paid? Taurus the Bull

Taurus is a bull, well half of a bull anyway. The front half. Actually mostly the head, with a shiny red eye. I think he’s been drinking. He’s charging Orion who appears to be perfectly prepared to defend himself from the assault. Orion also appears to have lost his pants but we don’t talk about…

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Added by Brad Snowder on May 26, 2013 at 5:48am — 5 Comments

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Equuleus - the little horse

Posted by Brad Snowder on July 9, 2017 at 1:08am 0 Comments

Horrified

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