A small guide so that, with simple tricks, you can easily identify the constellations. Discover the world of astronomy and mythology by looking up. What’s up there? If at any time you have been amazed looking at a starry sky, this is your post. Those bright spots in the dark night sky are captivating. However, we can enjoy those stars in a different way if we are able to understand them. Don’t you think Therefore, we are going to give you some tricks so that you can identify the constellations easily and with the naked eye?
Think that looking at the sky and asking questions is something humans have done throughout history. The stars have always been there, and each and every civilization has learned from them, creating mythological beliefs or even sciences.
A well-known phrase of the astrophysicist and astronomerCarl Sagan: “We are stardust reflecting on stars.” He formulated it to explain the origin of life after the Big Bang. And, the stars are the indisputable protagonists of our sky, that small window through which we look at the infinite universe, and from where, for example, we managed to photograph a black hole for the first time.
Leaving aside the most romantic character in heaven, we start with our little guide. Prepared? Jot down the following tricks to identify the constellations, and set aside a night to test what you’ve learned.
Choose the perfect place to look at the sky
The first step is to choose the best site to be able to identify the constellations. To do this, you must stay away from the big city and an area without light. The light pollution will ruin our plan. In addition, a place without humidity is also recommended and not in a warm season, as this will reduce vision.
Once you have chosen the perfect place, we recommend that you lie on your back and start looking at the sky. The trick to finding the constellations? The key is to make a visual sweep from right to left, that is, counterclockwise. Remember that our planet rotates, so this is the perfect way to look at the sky, since, with the passing of the hours, the stars will appear in the east and go in the west.
Now, you know where to place yourself and in what way. You are ready to identify them, but you need to know their name and what they are like. We are going to explain to you how to see the Boreal constellations, located in the northern hemisphere of planet Earth. If you want to know how to see the Austral constellations, below the equator, take a look at this post.
Find the Boreal Constellations
Located above the equator, also called northern, they can only be seen from the planet’s northern hemisphere. We explain what they are and how you can identify them:
Big Dipper: Visible throughout the year, you must find a kind of ‘car’ or ‘casserole’ that is made up of its bright seven main stars. It is very easy to identify and serves as the basis for finding others. If you can’t find it, help yourself by identifying the Pole Star, the brightest you see in the sky, lower your gaze diagonally to the left and you will surely come across another star brighter than the others.
Ursa Minor: Once you have found the Big Dipper, it is very easy to find the Little Dipper. What you should do is draw a diagonal line up to the right. It has the same ‘saucepan’ or ‘car’ shape as the Big Dipper, but it is smaller. A trick? The tip of the ‘handle’ is the Polar star, help yourself to find it.
Cassiopeia: It is on the opposite side to the Big Dipper, an elongated’ constellation and is made up of five stars. Very close to the Little Dipper, northwest of the last star of the ‘car’.
Orion: It is the one that places the most equator of all. It can be seen from both hemispheres. It is easy to identify, they are three bright stars very close together, which form the Orion belt.
Draco: The longest in the sky. It’s between the Little Dipper and the Big Dipper, and it’s a 15-star line with a meandering shape. First, find the head of this dragon, which is nothing more than a kind of square made up of four more stars. Draco’s ‘tail’ is right between the Big Dipper and the Little Dipper.
Cepheus: Find a house between the Little Dipper and Cassiopeia. At the tip of its roof is a star that is very close to the Pole star.