June brings campfires, picnic baskets, catching fireflies, and looking up at the stars. The stars in our night sky are part of the beauty that surrounds us. This month is Great Outdoors Month and while it can get hot during the day, there’s plenty to see at nighttime. Stars pepper our night sky and through the ages humans have created constellations among the stars. They draw from stories, legends, myths and imagination.
The more commonly known constellations are the Big and Little Dipper, as are constellations that make up the signs of the Zodiac. They are the star signs that people are born under and, depending on what you believe, influence your personality.
Here’s a list of a few constellations that aren’t as commonly talked about or known:
Crater – The Goblet. It resembles a drinking glass and is known as the goblet of Apollo. It was Ptolemy that catalogued it first in the 2nd century.
Horologium – The Pendulum Clock. Originally named Horologium Oscilitorium, it was shorted to mean just ‘the clock’ eventually. It was created by Nicolas Lois de Lacaille in the 18th century.
Microscopium – The Microscope is in the southern hemisphere to the south of Capricornus. It was also created by Nicolas Louis de Lacaille.
Vulpecula – The Fox was created by Johannes Hevelius in the 17th century. Originally named Vulpecula et Anser, it was a fox carrying a goose in its jaws. The brightest stars kept the name Anser after the the constellation was broken in two and then merged again.
Leo Minor – The Lesser Lion. Created from 18 stars between Ursa Major and Leo. Johannes Hevelius.
All of these constellations are rather faint in the sky and most don’t have any myths connected to them. Still, the imagination of those that invented them stays in the stars and we just have to look up to see it.
To learn more about constellations, check out our databases for online resources and books to check out!
All pictures have been taken from ClipArt.