The 88 Constellations and Their Brightest Stars

The 88 Constellations and Their Brightest Stars

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Overview

In contemporary astrology, there are 88 constellations that are recognized by the International Astronomical Union. 42 depict animals, 29 depict inanimate objects and 17 depict humans or mythological characters.

The ancient Sumerians, Babylonians, and later, the Greeks established the majority of the northern constellations that are officially recognized today. That is why many stars and constellations are connected to ancient myths and legends. For example, the Lyre constellation represents the celestial harp created by Hermes and gifted to Orpheus by Apollo. When Orpheus played love songs to his beloved bride Eurydice, both people and animals would become captivated. When Eurydice died suddenly, Orpheus’ enchanting lyre music convinced the ruler of the underworld to release Eurydice under the condition that Orpheus does not look back at her as she followed him out to the surface. Unable to endure the doubt that she was not behind him, he glanced over his shoulder and witnessed Eurydice fade away back into Hades’ domain. After Orpheus passed away, Zeus placed his lyre in the stars in honor of his beautiful music and forsaken love.

Egyptians and the Zodiac

The ancient Egyptians are believed to have developed the Zodiac system, which was later adopted by the Babylonians.

Early astrologers understood that it took 12 lunar cycles for the sun to return to its original position. They then identified 12 constellations that correlated with the progression of the seasons and named them after certain animals or people. These became the Zodiac signs. The Zodiac signs are divided into four groups. Fire signs include Aries, Sagittarius, and Leo. Water signs include Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces. Air signs include Libra, Aquarius, and Gemini. Earth signs include Capricorn, Taurus, and Virgo. Babylonian astrologers believed that the Sun, Moon, and five known planets (Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Saturn, and Venus) imbued distinct powers onto each Zodiac constellation.

Top 10 Constellations

The largest constellation is the Hydra, which takes up 3.2% of the Southern night sky. It is commonly depicted as a water serpent. The best time to see Hydra is in January. The top 10 largest constellations are as follows:

  1. Hydra – 3.2%
  2. Ursa Major – 3.1%
  3. Virgo – 3.1%
  4. Cetus – 3%
  5. Hercules – 3%
  6. Eridanus – 2.8%
  7. Pegasus – 2.7%
  8. Centaurus – 2.6%
  9. Draco – 2.6%
  10. Aquarius – 2.4%

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Logan Block
Logan is the content director of Sleepopolis, which means he not only reviews new mattresses every week, but also curates all the comparisons, best of pages, and video guides on the site. He takes a straightforward, honest approach to his reviews and endeavors to give viewers an objective look at each new product he tries out. Logan’s perfected his method over the course of personally testing over 100 different mattresses, so he’s not only able to discern the overall vibe of a specific bed, but to contextualize its feel within the bed-in-a-box market as a whole. Needless to say, his sleep knowledge runs deep, and he loves nothing more than sharing that knowledge with his readers. When he’s not hopping on a new bed or working with our editorial team to whip up an engaging sleep education guide, you can find him reading books on world history, walking his dog Pepper, or searching for the best cheeseburger in New York City.
Logan Block

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