Sloan Digital Sky Survey
SkyServer DR16 Brazilian Mirror 

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 Made-Up Constellation
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 Stars in Orion
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Compare Shapes

Look again at the stars you saw on the last page:

One group saw a horse; the other group saw a dove. What do you see?

Now, trade papers with someone in the other group. Now can you see what they saw? (You might have to study the stars carefully to see it.)

This activity shows what ancient people did when they saw the stars. You can think of yourself as a member of an ancient culture. When you looked at the sky and saw those stars, you saw a dove or a horse. Whenever you looked at those stars, that's what you saw.

The other group was like another ancient culture. They saw the other shape (horse or dove) - then every time they looked at those stars, they saw that shape.

Of course, there aren't really doves or horses in the sky - just stars. The ancient people saw the patterns in the stars that they had always seen, just like you saw the pattern you had seen from your handout.

Now that you understand what constellations are, let's look at a real constellation. Click Next to see Orion the Hunter.