One of the best places to start for stargazing beginners is the 12 zodiac constellations or "signs".
Most of us know something about the zodiac signs, even if it's just our own birth sign. But a lot of people don't realize that the zodiac is also 12 of the 88 constellations.
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The path that the Sun, Moon, and planets seem to travel around the Earth is called the ecliptic. The constellations along this path are the zodiac constellations.
It takes a pretty good imagination to actually "see" the pictures or constellations that the stars create but that's a good part of the fun in being a backyard stargazer. Using imagination to see what the ancients saw- and knowing some of the mythologies behind the constellations, make stargazing a simple and entertaining hobby.
us view the zodiac from the sky gazers viewpoint. And remember there are more constellations out there.
The 12 zodiac signs are just a part of the picture. This link will take you to a list of all 88 constellations.
Aries The Ram... Taurus The Bull... Gemini The Twins... Cancer The Crab
Leo The Lion... Virgo The Virgin... Libra The Scales... Scorpius The Scorpion
Sagittarius The Archer... Capricornus The Sea-goat... Aquarius The Water-bearer... Pisces The Fishes
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Click on the above links to see more information about that particular constellation.
On each page you will find some of the mythology about that sign, a star field picture overview of the night sky, and a limited magnitude image with the outline of the specific constellation.
You will also find notes on the best viewing areas by declination. Also noted are what time in the night is best for that constellation, what time of year the constellation is most visible, and other celestial objects that could be of interest to the backyard stargazer.
For an explanation of right ascension(RA) and declination(DEC) visit the star constellations page.
This should help you identify that constellation in the sky. Just remember that these pictures and images will not match the awesomeness of actually viewing the sky. Their purpose is to give you an idea of what to look for as a reference.Celestial Solar System › ZODIACS