- Slides: 20
What are constellations?
Defintions Astronomy: Study of the motions and properties of objects in space Constellations: Observed pattern people use to mark the position of stars in the sky
Some Info (do not write) Ancient people did not have much light pollution so they could see lots of stars Stars do not have a pattern, but ancient people thought they saw patterns They associated patterns with traditions and legends that were a part of their culture Scientists today have divided the sky into 88 regions, with each region being paired with a constellation
Write this… Different constellations are visible to us at different times of the year due to our location on our orbit around the sun Having different constellations associated with each of the 4 seasons is further evidence of Earth’s revolution
Throughout the year, the apparent diameter of the sun changes in a cyclic fashion due to the Earth’s slightly elliptical orbit As the Earth revolves around the sun, it is moving towards a star for half the year, away from the star the other half, resulting in a blue -shift/red-shift effect on the starlight
Orion: N. Hemisphere Winter Constellation Orion: The most famous stories come from Greek and Roman myths. Orion was a famed hunter, and in one story boasted that no creature could kill him. Hera then sent a scorpion to sting the hunter. Orion smashed the animal with his club, but not before he was poisoned. Both are now on opposite sides of the sky. They cannot be seen at the same time.
Ursa Major (Great bear) Probably the most famous constellation, with the exception of Orion. Also known as the Great Bear, it has a companion called Ursa Minor, or Little Bear. The body and tail of the bear make up what is known as the Big Dipper. Also called names such as the Plough, the Wain and even the Wagon, this constellation has a lot of history behind it. Several different cultures saw a big bear in the sky. The ancient Greeks had a few different stories to explain how the animal ended up there. In one story, Hera discovered Zeus was having an affair with Callisto and turned her into a bear. Zeus put her in the sky along with her son, Arcas, who became the Little Bear.
Ursa Minor (little bear/little dipper)
Leo The constellation Leo is known as the Lion. Leo's head and mane make up an upside-down question mark called the Sickle. One of the brightest spring stars, Regulus (Latin for "little king"), is at the base of the question mark. The rest of Leo's body, legs, and tail extend to the east. During the dry season in ancient Egypt, the lions of the desert came close to the valley of the Nile when the river flooded, which used to happen when the Sun was in Leo. Some have interpreted this as the origin of the name of the constellation. The ancient Sumerians, Babylonians, Persians, Syrians, Greeks, and Romans, all recognized this constellation as a lion.
Taurus (The Bull) Taurus passes through the sky from November through March. Taurus was a very popular constellation in ancient times, so there are many myths about it. The Greeks thought the stars represented Zeus in disguise as a white bull. He tricked Europa into climbing on his back. He then swam out to sea and carried her to Crete. In Egypt, the constellation was a reminder of Apis, the Bull of Memphis. He served as a servant to Osiris, god of the Sun. Just as famous as Taurus is the group of stars within it. The Pleiades are a group of seven stars that lie on the Bull's shoulder. The Greeks believed these were the Seven Sisters, daughters of Atlas and Pleione. It was told that they asked Zeus to place them in the sky to escape Orion, who was desperately pursuing them. Little did they know that Orion would be placed right next to Taurus in the night sky!
Astrology Definitions Astrology (don’t have to write): The study of the positions and aspects of celestial bodies in belief that they have an influence on the course of natural earthly occurrences and human affairs Horoscope: An astrological forecast, as of a person's future, based on a diagram of the aspect of the planets and stars at a given moment.
Astrology Definitions Continued Zodiac: an annual cycle of twelve stations or "signs" along the ecliptic, the apparent path of the Sun across the heavens
Astrology Activity 1: Comparing horoscopes Read the three horoscopes for the same sign out of three different newspapers Answer the following questions: 1. How well do the predictions of different astrologers agree? 2. How specific are the newspaper statements? 3. In what ways could the statements apply to different people?
Activity Two: Find your horoscope Directions: Read the horoscopes below. Try to find the one for your sign. If you aren’t sure, pick the one you’d want to be yours. Write the number of the horoscope you believe to be yours on the line below: My horoscope is horoscope number: ____
Activity Three: Was Your Horoscope Right? Directions: The horoscopes in Activity Two were from Saturday October 31, 2009. After finding out which horoscopes are for which sign, write a brief paragraph comparing your day on Saturday to the kind of day your horoscope forecasted for you. Was the horoscope accurate? Do you “buy into” astrology?