This article comes to you from our friend Mitch at Sleepopolis.com, who, with his team, has been working on this project to create an infographic of the 88 Constellations and their brightest stars. It’s a biggie, so you’re going to want to view this on your desktop.
Mitch has kindly written a piece which accompanies the graphic, so keep scrolling to find out more.
Humankind has always been fascinated with the spectacular display of the Earth’s night sky. Using the stars, people imagined shapes and outlines that represented legends, myths, important figures, and more.
The first historical evidence of human observation of constellations were found on clay tablets in Mesopotamia (Modern day Iraq) dating back to 3000 B.C.E. but constellations are believed to have been a part of human culture around the world since long before recorded history. The zodiac constellations, which are still recognized today, became prominent around 400 B.C.E. but their exact origin is not known.
Since 1928, there are 88 formally accepted IAU constellations with connected boundaries combining to fill 100% of the sky. This infographic from the team at Sleepopolis examines all 88 from a historical and astronomical perspective. For the history buffs, the infographic provides the meaning and mythology behind every constellation as well as when they first originated in human history.
Some have been observed since ancient times while others originated as recently as the mid 18th century when they were named by French astronomer Nicolas Louis de Lacaille. For the amateur astronomers, included are the percentage of the night sky they fill, the month and hemisphere in which they are best to observe, and the brightest star in each constellation.