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Constellations The Astronomers Navigation Tool

Jun 16, 2008
Since the dawn of time, when man first looked up in the heavens, he painted the sky with pictures. The points of light from stars made patterns which looked like certain objects. Today these constellations are still in use, though some have been left out, and are necessary to navigate the heavens with a telescope.

Astronomy is an interesting topic. Even though today we have telescopes to look at objects in the sky with greater magnitude than with the naked eye, we still need a way of navigating the heavens. Even though astronomy has been a topic that people have delved into for thousands of years, the astronomy with optical telescopes is pretty much a recent invention, compared with our history.

When we look up at the heavens, we see these points of light, and can easily create pictures out of them. For example French astronomer de Lalande saw a picture of his cat called Felis, and as such made a constellation called Felis. However, most of these constellations have not made the official status.

Currently the whole sky has been mapped into pictures. These picture representations have helped map the whole sky into 88 different constellations. In fact the zodiac used in astronomy is part of the constellations, and paints a story of amazement. For example the constellation of Orion with a picture of the hunter with a club, about to club a lion.

There is some great mythology with the constellations, and all go to make up that story. However, in the mythology of the constellations there are variations to how the stories go. For example some say that the hunter said that he would kill every wild animal on Earth, and Artemis created the Scorpion (which is Scorpio) which the hunter could not defeat, and killed him. The pictures can slightly be different depending on the mythology. Like in Australia the belt and sword of Orion are called the saucepan, as it resembles a saucepan.

However, the stories go, the points of light from stars have captivated mans imagination, and have allowed astronomers today to find objects much more easily. As long as you know the constellations, then finding objects is so much more easily.

Most people new to astronomy will tend to go out and buy telescopes, and soon find that they are stuck on what to look for. Even finding information about stars and other space objects is no use. Finding out where the planets are can be simple, but often we will learn that they are in so, and so constellation. Without knowing where these constellations are, it can make finding objects difficult. Learning about the constellations can really make great headway in navigating the heavens and getting more out of a telescope.
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Here is some telescope resources that can help you find and buy a telescope:
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Meade Telescope Sales
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