The Creation of a Unified System of Constellations


Constellations pic


Valerie Varnuska of Westbury, NY, is passionate about the natural world. Fascinated by the beauty of the night sky, Valerie Varnuska has a strong interest in astronomy and natural phenomenon beyond the earth.

A recent article on examined the development of constellations, the naming of a group of stars that form a recognizable pattern, which began formally in 2nd-century BC Greece with Hipparchus’ 48 classical constellations. These constellations had their roots in ancient Babylon and included some obvious star clusters that had been independently recognized by cultures around the world.

Several decades later, Ptolemy created the Almagest catalog of constellations, which was passed down virtually intact to modern Europeans. Additions included 14 new constellations visible only to seafarers as they explored the Southern Hemisphere. In the 1930s, a formal set of 88 constellations was codified worldwide through the efforts of the International Astronomical Union.


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