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. noun
    a configuration of stars as seen from the earth
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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
  2. noun
    an arrangement of parts or elements
    synonyms: configuration
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    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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