constellation

When you spot the Big Dipper in the night sky, you're looking at part of the constellation called "Ursa Major." A constellation is a group of stars that forms a pattern and has been given a name based on its shape.

The visible night sky is divided into 88 constellations by astronomers. Organizing the stars into specific shapes and patterns helps when people study them, since they're broken down into manageable sections. A constellation can also be a cluster of things, like a constellation of freckles on your friend's nose. The stella in the middle of the word constellation means "star" in Latin, while the entire word means "set with stars."

Definitions of constellation
1

n a configuration of stars as seen from the earth

Examples:
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Andromeda
a constellation in the northern hemisphere between Cassiopeia and Pegasus; contains the Andromeda galaxy
Antlia
a faint constellation in the southern hemisphere near Hydra and Vela
Apus
a constellation in the polar region of the southern hemisphere near Octans
Aquarius
a zodiacal constellation in the southern hemisphere; between Capricornus and Pisces
Aquila
a constellation in the Milky Way near Cygnus; contains the star Altair
Ara
a constellation in the southern hemisphere near Telescopium and Norma
Argo
formerly a large constellation in the southern hemisphere between Canis Major and the Southern Cross; now divided into Carina and Pyxis and Puppis and Vela
Aries
a small zodiacal constellation in the northern hemisphere; between Pisces and Taurus
Charioteer
a conspicuous constellation in the northern hemisphere; between Great Bear and Orion at edge of Milky Way
Bootes
a constellation in the northern hemisphere near Ursa Major
Caelum
a constellation in the southern hemisphere near Columba and Eridanus
Cancer
a small zodiacal constellation in the northern hemisphere; between Leo and Gemini
Canis Major
a constellation to the southeast of Orion; contains Sirius
Canis Minor
a constellation to the east of Orion; contains Procyon
Capricornus
a faint zodiacal constellation in the southern hemisphere; between Sagittarius and Aquarius
Carina
a keel-shaped constellation in the southern hemisphere; contains the start Canopus
Cassiopeia
a W-shaped constellation in the northern hemisphere near Polaris
Centaurus
a conspicuous constellation in the southern hemisphere near the Southern Cross
Cepheus
a faint constellation in the northern hemisphere near Cassiopeia and the pole star
Cetus
a large constellation on the equator near Pisces and Aquarius
Chamaeleon
a faint constellation in the polar region of the southern hemisphere near Apus and Mensa
Circinus
a small faint constellation in the southern hemisphere near Musca and Triangulum Australe
Columba
a constellation in the southern hemisphere near Puppis and Caelum
Coma Berenices
a constellation in the northern hemisphere between Ursa Major and Bootes; contains a cluster of some 10,000 galaxies
Corona Borealis
a small constellation in the northern hemisphere between Bootes and Hercules
Corvus
a small quadrilateral constellation in the southern hemisphere near Virgo
Crater
a faint constellation in the southern hemisphere near Hydra and Corvus
Cygnus
a constellation in the northern hemisphere between Pegasus and Draco in the Milky Way; contains a black hole
Delphinus
a constellation in the northern hemisphere near Pegasus and Aquila
Dorado
a constellation in the southern hemisphere near Reticulum and Pictor; contains most of the Large Magellanic Cloud
Dragon
a faint constellation twisting around the north celestial pole and lying between Ursa Major and Cepheus
Eridanus
a constellation in the southern hemisphere near Fornax and Cetus
Fornax
a faint constellation in the southern hemisphere near Cetus and Phoenix
Gemini
a zodiacal constellation in the northern hemisphere between Taurus and Cancer on the ecliptic
Great Bear
a constellation outside the zodiac that rotates around the North Star
Crane
a small constellation in the southern hemisphere near Phoenix
Hercules
a large constellation in the northern hemisphere between Lyra and Corona Borealis
Hydra
a long faint constellation in the southern hemisphere near the equator stretching between Virgo and Cancer
Hydrus
a constellation in the southern hemisphere near the south celestial pole
Indus
a faint constellation in the southern hemisphere near Telescopium and Tucana
Leo
a zodiacal constellation in northern hemisphere between Cancer and Virgo
Lepus
a constellation in the southern hemisphere near Orion and Columba
Libra
a small faint zodiacal constellation in the southern hemisphere; between Virgo and Scorpius
Little Bear
a constellation outside the zodiac that rotates around the North Star
Lupus
a constellation in the southern hemisphere near Centaurus
Lyra
a small constellation in the northern hemisphere near Cygnus and Draco; contains the star Vega
Mensa
a faint constellation in the polar region of the southern hemisphere and containing part of the Large Magellanic Cloud
Microscopium
a faint constellation in the southern hemisphere near Sagittarius and Capricornus
Musca
a small constellation in the polar region of the southern hemisphere near the Southern Cross and Chamaeleon
Norma
a small constellation in the southern hemisphere near Lupus and Ara in the Milky Way
Octans
the constellation that includes the southern celestial pole
Ophiuchus
a large constellation in the equatorial region between Hercules and Scorpius
Hunter
a constellation on the equator to the east of Taurus; contains Betelgeuse and Rigel
Pavo
a small constellation near the South Pole between Tucana and Ara
Pegasus
a constellation in the northern hemisphere near Andromeda and Pisces
Perseus
a conspicuous constellation in the northern hemisphere; between Auriga and Cassiopeia and crossed by the Milky Way
Phoenix
a constellation in the southern hemisphere near Tucana and Sculptor
Pictor
a constellation in the southern hemisphere near Dorado and Columba
Pisces
a large faint zodiacal constellation; between Aquarius and Aries
Puppis
a constellation in the southern hemisphere between Vela and Canis Major that shaped like the stern of a boat
Pyxis
a constellation in the southern hemisphere near Puppis and Antlia
Reticulum
a small constellation in the southern hemisphere near Dorado and Hydrus
Sagitta
a small constellation in the northern hemisphere between Cygnus and Aquila and crossed by the Milky Way
Sagittarius
a large zodiacal constellation in the southern hemisphere; between Scorpius and Capricornus
Scorpius
a large zodiacal constellation between Libra and Sagittarius
Sculptor
a faint constellation in the southern hemisphere near Phoenix and Cetus
Serpens
a constellation in the equatorial region of the northern hemisphere near Ophiuchus and Corona Borealis
Crux Australis
a small conspicuous constellation in the southern hemisphere in the Milky Way near Centaurus
Taurus
a zodiacal constellation in the northern hemisphere near Orion; between Aries and Gemini
Telescopium
a small constellation in the southern hemisphere near Ara
Triangulum
a small northern constellation near Perseus between Andromeda and Aries
Triangulum Australe
a small bright constellation in the polar region of the southern hemisphere near Circinus and Apus
Tucana
a large faint constellation in the southern hemisphere containing most of the Small Magellanic Cloud
Vela
a constellation in the southern hemisphere between Carina and Pyxis
Virgo
a large zodiacal constellation on the equator; between Leo and Libra
Volans
a small constellation in the polar region of the southern hemisphere near Dorado and Carina
Vulpecula
a constellation in the northern hemisphere near Cygnus and Sagitta
Type of:
natural object
an object occurring naturally; not made by man

n an arrangement of parts or elements

Synonyms:
configuration
Types:
show 9 types...
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redundancy
(electronics) a system design that duplicates components to provide alternatives in case one component fails
network topology, topology
the configuration of a communication network
chunking, unitisation, unitization
(psychology) the configuration of smaller units of information into large coordinated units
bus, bus topology
the topology of a network whose components are connected by a busbar
loop, loop topology
the topology of a network whose components are serially connected in such a way that the last component is connected to the first component
star, star topology
the topology of a network whose components are connected to a hub
mesh, mesh topology
the topology of a network whose components are all connected directly to every other component
physical topology
the appearance of the network
logical topology
the way the network works
Type of:
design, plan
an arrangement scheme

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