Sky & Telescope diagram of the Geminid meteor shower and nearby constellations.

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About Constellations

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We have learned about astronauts, the International Space station, our solar system and the Moon. Want to learn more about space? How about the stars?

There are billions of stars in the sky, but we can only see around 2,000 during the night. We may see even less in a brightly lit city or on a cloudy night.* A group of stars that form a pattern or outline are called constellations. These groups of stars are usually said to look like animals, or people from Greek mythology like Orion or Andromeda.

Learn more with these resources

Constellation Hunters
Sketching Activities for  the Northern Constellations

Current Maps of the Minnesota Night Sky
Your local guide to observing celestial objects and events

Constellation cards
Detailed illustrations of major constellations

*If you are unable to see the stars where you live you can still use these resources to learn more about them and the constellation shapes they form.

Suggested space book list

A Hundred Billion Trillion Stars, by Seth Fishman, illustrated by Isabel Greenberg
Grace Hopper: Queen of Computer Code, by Laurie Wallmark, illustrated by Katy Wu
Serena Sees Her Footprints on the Moon, by Sean Reed, illustrated by Sam Beck
Curiosity: The Story of a Mars Rover, by Markus Motum
Find the Constellations, by H.A. Rey
The Sun is my Favorite Star by Frank Asch
Go For Lift Off! How to Train Like an Astronaut by Dave William
Zoo in the Sky: A Book of Animal Constellations by Jacqueline Mitton, illustrated by Christina Balit