Course: Science Subtest I
Lesson: Astronomy
Topic: The Stars: Patterns and Movement      Page 8 of 18  

Constellations are fixed patterns of stars.

Observers have always recognized patterns among the thousands of stars visible on a clear night. Constellations are fixed patterns of stars.

For example, the stars of the Orion constellation can be thought of as tracing the outline of a hunter with a shield, an upraised arm holding a club, and a sword hanging by his belt.

The shape of Orion and other constellations stay the same throughout the night, even as the stars as a group move slowly across the sky. This site has an animation called The Celestial Sphere that shows the constellations rising and setting over the course of a day.