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The significance of the zodiac stems from the fact that the ecliptic -- the narrow path on the sky that the Sun, Moon, and planets appear to follow -- runs directly through these star groupings. Since ancient times, the Sun, Moon, and planets have been known as special astronomical objects -- they "wander" through the background stars of the zodiac, which remain fixed with respect to each other.

It was reasoned that these zodiacal constellations must be special to make up this path, and the relative positions of the "wandering stars" within them bore great importance. True scientific astronomy has its roots in the attempts of ancient astrologers to predict future occurrences of, for instance, imperial Jupiter and the blood-red planet Mars meeting within the charging bull of Taurus -- a potentially powerful omen for those who believed the planets represented the gods themselves.

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Skip to main content. Constellation Guide. Aquila, the Eagle. Aries, the Ram. Auriga, the Charioteer. Cancer, the Crab. Cassiopeia, the Queen. Cygnus, the Swan. Gemini, the Twins. Leo, the Lion. Libra, the Scales. Lyra, the Harp. Orion, the Hunter. Perseus, the Hero. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Group of stars. This article is about the star grouping. For other uses, see Constellation disambiguation.

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See also: Old Babylonian astronomy. See also: Egyptian astronomy and Ancient Greek astronomy. Further information: Chinese constellations and Chinese astronomy. Main article: IAU designated constellations.

Further information: Great Rift astronomy. Star portal Astronomy portal Space portal. Oxford English Dictionary. Retrieved 2 August The introduction of the uniform zodiac". Archive for History of Exact Sciences. International Astronomical Union. Retrieved 21 September Oxford Dictionary of Astronomy. Retrieved 26 July Glossary of navigation: a vade mecum for practical navigators 3rd ed. Portsmouth: Griffin.

What Are Constellations?

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Coral Ridge Ministries Media, Incorporated. Allen 28 February Star Names: Their Lore and Meaning.

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    Bibcode : JHA Archived from the original on 24 July Retrieved 16 July August Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. Early Explorations of the Southern Celestial Sky. Annals of Science 44, pp. Der Globusfreund , , pp. Star Tales. Retrieved 29 August Department of Astronomy. University of Wisconsin-Madison. Retrieved 1 August Retrieved 31 January Retrieved 24 May Paris 16 July Retrieved 5 January Retrieved 12 March Bibcode : JHAS Echoes of the Ancient Skies.

    Mineola: Dover Publications, Inc. This article's further reading may not follow Wikipedia's content policies or guidelines. Please improve this article by removing less relevant or redundant publications with the same point of view ; or by incorporating the relevant publications into the body of the article through appropriate citations. August Learn how and when to remove this template message. Constellations at Wikipedia's sister projects.

    Classifying the Stars

    The 88 modern constellations. Lists of constellations. The 48 constellations listed by Ptolemy after AD.

    The 41 additional constellations added in the 16th and 17th centuries.