asterism

I learned something new this morning (which is quite normal) , but this morning I learned something that is particularly thought-shifting, even if it’s not world or life changing:

In astronomy, an asterism is a pattern of stars seen in Earth’s sky which is not an official constellation. Like constellations, they are composed of stars which, while they are in the same general direction, are not physically related, often being at significantly different distances from Earth. An asterism may be composed of stars from one or more constellations. Their mostly simple shapes and few stars make these patterns easy to identify, and thus particularly useful to those just learning to orient themselves when viewing the night sky.

Ok, so that’s all well and good. A new astronomy definition. The thought-shifting part? A list of asterisms I’ve spent my whole life thinking were constellations, but aren’t constellations after all. And another thing – did you know there are exactly 88 official constellations. That’s it. That’s completely 100% learnable. I thought they were endless!  So as it turns out, enetrance isn’t creating new constellations at all.  Enetrance is finding new asterisms.

Now for that list.  A few asterisms I thought were actually constellations:

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2 Responses to “asterism”


  1. 1 MommaDeb January 28, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    You taught me today. I love you.


  1. 1 Enetrance « Trackback on February 2, 2010 at 1:09 pm

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lenticular?

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Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children.
-Kahlil Gibran

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