Who has not looked at the stars and marveled at the wonders of the universe on a crystal night? Can you identify the stars and asterisks? Or does the night sky look like a confusing mess of light spots that prevent you from identifying yourself?
It is more difficult to find oneself in the sky than on the ground because the stars change position. But it is an orderly movement, hour after hour, all night. The appearance of the sky also changes from month to month as the year goes on. These obvious movements are the result of the earth's motion, the first of its daily rotation, the second of its annual journey around the sun.
Do you want to learn how to navigate the stars and find some of them? Residents of the northern hemisphere can use "Big Bear" as a starting point. It is a collection of seven bright stars. Four of them describe the pot on the pot and the other three form a curved handle. This group of stars is known in England as "Plow" or "Wain" (Wagon), whose similarities are equally clear.
The stars in the sky are grouped into constellations, many of which have been described since time immemorial and are intended to form images of people, animals or objects. Astronomers divide the sky into a total of eight constellations, but less than half contain stars that are bright enough to attract the layman's attention. Ursa Major is part of a constellation called Ursa Major or Ursa Major.
It may seem difficult at first, but with a simple map as a guide, it is very easy to find many stars and constellations. It only takes a few minutes, two or three nights a year. Would you like to try?
Summer sky stars
Let's start with the Big Dipper to find the Pole Star. Look north for the spoon bird on a clear spring, summer or autumn night. To make it easier, we will number the stars from 1 to 7, starting with the bowl and working down to the handle, which is shown in the attached tables.
Now imagine a line from 2 to 1 and continue the length of the pendulum. This leads to the Pole Star in the constellation Ursa Minor (the little carriage). From North Star, you can trace Ursa Minor's contours as it bends toward Ursa Major. If you continue in the same direction as Polaris, you will reach the constellation Cassiopeia at approximately the same distance, identified by five bright W-shaped stars.
You will find it interesting to observe these three constellations for a few hours in one night. The toy car rotates around the end of the handle. Ursa Maior and Cassiopeia also move counterclockwise around Polaris. The cause is the rotation of the earth around its axis.
If it's a summer night, Orsa Maggiore is west of the face with the handle facing up. It may show us another path between the stars. Follow the curve of the handle upwards and approximately the length of a saucepan you will find a bright orange star that is far from other bright stars. Here is Arcturus in the constellation Boötes. Follow the same curve to the end and you will reach another lone star, Spica, in the constellation Virgo.
Now go back to the pendulum and start with star 1, draw a straight line up to 4, a long line that goes through Arcturus and extends to the sky. Finally, you will find the eye-catching constellation Scorpio with the bright "giant red star" Antares, which burns in the heart of Scorpio. It has a long tail that turns towards the southern horizon and bends at the end. Some compared this constellation to a dragon with its long tail blown by the wind. Antares is one of the biggest known stars. It is so large that Antares would fill the inner solar system almost to the orbit of Mars if its center was where our sun is. Our country would be in the depths of Antares.
Now let's go back to the pendulum and take a new path. Start at 3 and follow line 4 to the eastern sky and you will reach Deneb, Cygnus (the swan). Deneb is at the top of the "Cruzeiro do Norte", which is located next to him at this time of year. Six stars mark the cross, even though it is quite dark in the middle of the post.
On our way to Deneb, we met an even brighter star on Lyra, Vega. Vega and Deneb form a large triangle with another bright star, Altair, in Aquila (the eagle). Altair is accompanied by two paler stars, one on each side in a straight line.
It's here! In a few minutes, you will have met the main stars and constellations of the summer sky. Once you get to know them, you don't need to reboot every time from Big Dipper to find them. The distinct shapes of the groups make many immediately recognizable. Cassiopée you know the "W"; Scorpio for the dragon; Deneb on the cross; Vega in the remarkable triangle and so on. Each of them is unique in paradise.
After discovering these constellations, you will want to renew your awareness of them from time to time when you go out at night. When fall begins, they move to the sky in the west. Eventually, one by one, they will disappear below the horizon. But the winter sky will contain new groups of eastern stars. The second table with this article will help you identify these new stars.
At the end of winter, the Big Dipper is downhill on the east side of Polaris. A line crossing stars 4 and 3 indicates Regulus in Leo (the lion). Note the "sickle" with regulus at the end of the handle. A line from 4 to 1 leads to Capella (the goat) with her three neighboring "children". Use 3 and 2 to bring Aldebaran to Taurus (the bull) at the head of a V-shaped group called Hyades. On the other side of V is a cluster of pale stars called the Pleiades, also known as "The Seven Sisters". Some say that this group looks like a small ball. If you have never seen the Hyades or the Pleiades with binoculars, a pleasant surprise awaits you.
A 4 to 2 diagonal line takes you to Gemini (the twins) which are made up of Castor and his lighter sibling, Pollux. A long line of 5 and 4 leads from Gemini to Orion, the hunter of the giants, one of the most spectacular constellations. Orion is bounded by an irregular rectangle. Betelgeuse in an upper corner is another red giant like Antares. Rigel in the opposite corner is a light blue and white star. Three stars in a row mark Orion's belt. They point to Sirius, the canine star of Canis Major (the big dog), the brightest fixed star in the sky. Between him and the twins stands Procyon in Canis Minor (the puppy).
Do you think we've now looked at one-third of the major constellations and over half of the first and second magnitude stars that can be seen from northern latitudes? But here's a caveat. If you follow these paths in the sky, you can find a bright star that does not fit. It could be one of the planets. Jupiter and Venus and sometimes Mars are brighter than any fixed star. Saturn is also bright: for example, Jupiter will be halfway between Aldebaran and Gemini in the winter of 1977-1978, and Saturn will therefore be near Regulus.
Have you and your family visited a planetarium? Once you start seeing the stars it will be a rewarding experience. The planetarium is located in many major cities. They offer different times, usually with the start of the sky above you, but they speed up and lighten the movements of the sky. These presentations are of interest to people of all ages. You may also want an inexpensive star guide that will help you identify other stars and constellations. And if you have the opportunity to travel to countries in the southern hemisphere, don't miss the opportunity to make new “friends” in the southern skies.
Finding your way between the stars and constellations with the naked eye will increase your appreciation for the power and wisdom of the Creator. Jehovah placed the stars there. They reflect his fame and allow us to appreciate and admire his work. If we are satisfied, knowing these constellations and a few dozen stars, we must not forget that there are millions and millions of stars that are out of our sight. And just think! Jehovah God knows everyone's names.