Interesting facts about the constellations

Interesting facts "Space" Interesting facts about the constellations

  1. A person with good eyesight can see about 2-3 thousand stars at night in clear weather. But for most of us, they seem exactly the same. In order to make it easier to navigate in the starry sky, astronomers combine several neighboring stars into groups called constellations.
  2. At present, the International Astronomical Union officially recognizes 88 constellations, moreover, more than half of them (48 constellations) were described by the famous astronomer of Ancient Greece Ptolemy, the author of the work "Almagest", which included the whole complex of knowledge about the starry sky that time. And Ptolemy lived more than two thousand years ago.
  3. Only in 1935 the astronomers of the world finally established the boundaries of the constellations and decided not to change them in the future. The International Astronomical Union is the most authoritative organization in this field. In July this year, the IAS celebrates its 100th anniversary.
  4. The largest constellation is Hydra, which covers more than 3% of the starry sky. In his work, Ptolemy refers to it as the Water Serpent. This constellation is located in the Southern Hemisphere, therefore, completely on the territory of Russia, it can be seen only in the southern regions. The brightest star in the constellation Hydra is Alphard. It's hard to imagine, but this star is 40 times larger than the Sun.
  5. Despite the fact that our country is the largest state in the world in terms of area, not all constellations can be seen from the territory of Russia - 54 out of 88.
  6. Polaris is located in the constellation Ursa Minor. For many centuries, the North Star has been used by travelers to navigate the terrain, it is convenient to do this, since it is constantly located above the northern point of the horizon of the Northern Hemisphere. And in Russia they called her the Spasskaya Star, because she helped to "save herself", to find the right direction.
  7. Constellations can be seen on the flags of some countries. For example, the flags of Australia and New Zealand are decorated with the image of the Southern Cross. There are 9 constellations on the Brazilian flag at once: Canis Minor, Canis Major, Carinae, Virgo, Hydra, Southern Cross, Octantus, Southern Triangle and Southern Cross. The Alaska flag depicts the constellation Ursa Major and the Pole Star. Officially, this flag was approved in 1927, and the author of the project is 13-year-old Benny Benson.In total, about 700 flag options were submitted to the competition, but the teenager's project was recognized as the best.
  8. According to astronomers, there are theoretically inhabited exoplanets in the constellation Libra. For several decades now, radio signals have been sent there with the hope that it will be possible to establish contact with "brothers in mind."
  9. But in the seventies of the last century, a story appeared in the Soviet Union that a certain petty bourgeois Nikifor Nikitin in 1848 was exiled to the settlement of Baikonur for seditious speeches, he argued that a flight to the moon was possible. It was even reported that a similar note was published in the Moscow Provincial Gazette. Meticulous historians began leafing through the newspaper files, but found no evidence. It turned out that it was a joke of a museum employee from Dnepropetrovsk. Later, he himself admitted that he did not expect such a "duck" to cause such a resonance.