The constellations have a practical purpose today too. They determine how stars are named. When astronomers go to conferences they like to share their research with others. And usually they will want to tell someone which stars or objects they may be looking at.
Also, why do we use constellations?
Constellations can be a useful way to help identify positions of stars in the sky. Constellations have imaginary boundaries formed by “connecting the dots” and all the stars within those boundaries are labeled with the name of that constellation.
Astronomers today still use constellations to name stars and meteor showers. A constellation is a group of stars that looks like a particular shape in the sky and has been given a name. These stars are far away from Earth. They are not connected to each other at all.
Why do constellations form?
Constellations are formed of bright stars which appear close to each other on the sky, but are really far apart in space. Because of the rotation of the Earth and its orbit around the Sun, we divide the constellations into two groups. Some constellations never rise nor set, and they are called circumpolar.
The patterns they form in the sky are a complete accident that depends on their locations compared to each other, and on our position on Earth from which we see them. Some constellations are made of stars that are not even very close to each other !
They are not connected to each other at all. Some stars in a constellation might be close while others are very far away. But, if you were to draw lines in the sky between the stars like a dot-to-dot puzzle – and use lots of imagination – the picture would look like an object, animal, or person.
What is the meaning of a constellation?
A constellation is a group of stars that looks like a particular shape in the sky and has been given a name. These stars are far away from Earth. They are not connected to each other at all.
In ancient times, people saw asterisms and made up all kinds of stories about mythological creatures and characters which they associated with the star patterns. As astronomers subsequently began to make maps of the stars, the named asterisms were included in the maps and called constellations.