Constellations & Asterisms

6.2 - Be able to recognise and draw the following constellations and asterisms, including their most prominent stars:
a) Cassiopeia
b) Cygnus
c) Orion
d) Plough
e) Southern Cross
f) Summer Triangle
g) Square of Pegasus

An asterism is not necessarily the same as a constellation. They are the most recognisable part of one or more constellations. Below are some examples:

  • Orion's belt is just a small part of the constellation Orion.
  • The seven stars of the Plough are part of the constellation Ursa Major, the Great Bear.
  • Of the four stars of square of Pegasus, three are in Pegasus, one is technically in Andromeda.
  • The Summer Triangle of the stars Deneb, Vega and Altair are from the constellations Cygnus, Lyra and Aquila.

Study the following constellations and asterisms, including their most prominent stars so you can recognise and draw them.

  1. Cassiopeia
  2. Cygnus
  3. Orion
  4. Plough
  5. Southern Cross
  6. Summer Triangle
  7. Square of Pegasus

Others that are interesting to look at (you're not expected to know these) include Taurus, Perseus, Leo, Gemini, Scorpius and Canis Major.

 

Cassiopeia
Cygnus
Orion
The Plough (Ursa Major)
Ursa Major
Southern Cross (Crux)
Summer Triangle
Square of Pegasus
Tips

Try to draw to scale and label any prominet stars or features

Questions

Explain how stars are labelled in a constellation