This drawing, as well as those below, is from Sidney Hall’s set of drawings called Urania’s Mirror. Delphinus, on the left, is still a recognized constellation, but quite small and faint. Musca borealis, the bee, is a discarded constellation, sagitta, the bow and aries, and while more as well are a few additional ideas to examine.
This of course begs the question “How many constellations are there in the world?”
The answer is that the International Astronomical Union lists 88 constellations — a list that has been in use since 1922 and encompasses all the night sky around the world. I chose the 15 below based on a combination of size, visibility, importance of stars within them, ease of recognition, and place in folklore through history.
Using a star map will be your best bet for assisting in finding where to look for constellations, depending on your location and time of year. It’s different depending on where you live and on the seasons, so use something like Astro. Viewer that lets you enter your location and gives you a customized star map.
What is the oldest constellation in the zodiac?
While one of the biggest, most famous, and oldest named constellations, Aquarius is faint and often hard to find/see. In Greek mythology, Aquarius represented Ganymede, a very handsome young man. Zeus recognized the lad’s good looks, and invited Ganymede to Mt. Olympus to be the cupbearer of the gods.
Why do astronomers use Greek mythology to identify the constellations?
I use Greek mythology because it was Ptolemy in the 2nd century who identified and listed 48 constellations. This was the first written and scientific account of the constellations, and although his notes only covered the sky that he could see, it was used for centuries as the benchmark for astronomy.