Brad Snowder's Blog (141)

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

Pavo - the peacock

headdress There is a constellation way down in the southern part of the sky named Pavo which means Peacock, and its brightest star is named Peacock. Coincidence? Are there really any coincidences? Twenty four hours in a day, twenty four beers in a case. Okay that one maybe. Although…
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Added by Brad Snowder on January 7, 2017 at 1:13pm — 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

Perseus - the hero

perseus_02 The story behind the constellations of Perseus and those of his group is an ancient tale that is usually told from the perspective of the hero himself. It's his patriarchal privilege.

There were two brothers, Acrisius and Proetus, who always…
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Added by Brad Snowder on December 24, 2016 at 5:16pm — No Comments

Phoenix - the mythical bird

fawkes Most constellations are a Latin word that translates to some generic thing. But a few are their own translation such as a specific person's name. The Phoenix is a unique mythical bird that is pretty much only known as Phoenix, the bird that's hard to get rid of. As we all learned…
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Added by Brad Snowder on December 18, 2016 at 11:39am — 3 Comments

Pictor - the painter's easel

puppyvangogh Pictor is part of the Lacaille Group, the handful of constellations named after a bunch of 18th century stuff by a 18th century French guy. In this case it is the easel which held the artist's canvas in the days before Photoshop. Fun fact, the word "easel" is the old german…
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Added by Brad Snowder on December 11, 2016 at 10:07am — 6 Comments

Pisces - the fishes

gofish The Autumn constellation of Pisces is a good example of how a group of stars can get a name without being a connect-the-dots sort of thing. It appears to have been started in ancient Mesopotamia by astronomers in the easternmost region of the fertile crescent, or in biblical…
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Added by Brad Snowder on December 3, 2016 at 2:07pm — 1 Comment

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

Puppis - the stern

poopdeck2 The constellation Puppis is part of a whole group of constellations that represents various parts of the good ship Argo, made famous by its crew, Jason and the Argonauts. These particular stars are the ass end of that ship, i.e. the poop deck. …



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Added by Brad Snowder on November 20, 2016 at 12:47pm — 1 Comment

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

Reticulum - the net

eyepiece2 The stars in the constellation Reticulum represent the tiny network of lines in a certain type of telescope eyepiece. They are usually etched into a lens element and are akin to the cross-hairs in a rifle scope. In this case they are not only used for aiming, but also for…
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Added by Brad Snowder on November 5, 2016 at 11:01pm — 1 Comment

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

Sagittarius - the archer

sgr_03 The constellation known as Sagittarius is a centaur. Do not confuse it with Centaurus. We have two centaurs in the sky and this one wants to be associated with the fine sport of archery. So ignore the legs and focus on the bow.



The name…
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Added by Brad Snowder on October 22, 2016 at 4:10pm — 2 Comments

Scorpius - the scorpion

scorpie The summer sky is dominated by a constellation named Scorpius, the scorpion. It has lots of bright stars in a long swooping curved shape like a fish hook. The brightest star in the line-up is a huge red one smack dab in the heart of the beast, named Antares. The scorpion is…
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Added by Brad Snowder on October 16, 2016 at 1:54am — No Comments

Sculptor - the sculptor's studio



workshop The southern constellation Sculptor represents a sculptor's studio/workshop. It is one of fifteen designated to honor random 18th century crap by Abbé Nicolas Louis de Lacaille. When Lacaille got married and his bride said her vows, she…
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Added by Brad Snowder on October 9, 2016 at 11:12am — 2 Comments

Scutum - the shield



shieldboy There is a small rectangular region in the summer sky known as Scutum, the shield. It represents a typical shield ranging from the Roman legionnaire sort to one that ye olde knight of chivalry might carry along with so much armor he…
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Added by Brad Snowder on October 2, 2016 at 12:23pm — No Comments

Serpens - the serpent





tinysnake_01 There is a rather unique constellation in the summer sky called Serpens, the serpent. What makes it special is that it is the only constellation that is divided into two parts. That is, the region of sky assigned to it is not…
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Added by Brad Snowder on September 25, 2016 at 11:27am — No Comments

Sextans - the sextant

coord_altaz There is a small constellation smack dab on the celestial equator called Sextans. Don't worry, it's safe for work, although the sex part might get it snagged by parental filters, I wouldn't know. It's part of a group of constellations named in the 17th century in order to…
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Added by Brad Snowder on September 18, 2016 at 4:10pm — 3 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

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Orion - the hunter

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