A small sketch shows how each constellation was originally imagined as a picture in the sky, as in this example of Orion the Hunter.


Hand symbols are used to indicate how large a constellation appears in the sky. A splayed hand at arm's length spans about 16 degrees of sky, while a l

16° of sky closed hand covers about 10 degrees. Combinations of these symbols are used to convey the full 10° ofsky width and depth of each constellation.

42° of sky nh1im


Which constellations you can see depends on your latitude on Earth. Far-southern constellations cannot be seen from far-northern latitudes, for example, because they never rise above the horizon. The bar at the top of each constellation entry specifies the latitudes on Earth from which each constellation is fully visible. Even so, when objects are close to the horizon they will be dimmed by the atmosphere and not as easy to see.


visible (only part of constellation can be seen)

fully visible_

seeing stars

The icons below are used to indicate what equipment, if any, is needed to see each of the items of interest described in a constellation.

Visibility icons

2 Naked eye H Binoculars

5 Telescope (amateur) S CCD

3 Professional observatory

80N 60N 40N 20N 0'

THE visibility OF ORION

Orion is fully visible between latitudes 79°N and 67°S. As is clear from the map above, the whole constellation can be seen from virtually the entire inhabited world.

photographic images

Photographic or CCD ¡mages will show far more than can be seen with the eye alone.

Ursa Minor Ursae Minoris (UMi)

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