Top 100 Constellations (pg 4)

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          61.  Canis Minor

Canis Minor is usually taken to be one of the hunting dogs of Orion. However there is another story connecting The Lesser Dog with Boötes and Virgo. This myth identifies Boötes with Icarius, who was famed for having received the secret of wine making from the Wine God, Dionysius. Icarius was killed by peasants who thought they had been poisoned by his wine. Icarius' loyal dog Maera ran home howling in grief and led Icarius' daughter back to his body. Poor Erigone hanged herself in grief over the death of her father. The gods had mercy on Icarius and his family and transported Icarius into the sky as the constellation of Boötes. Erigone became Virgo, and the dog Maera, the constellation of Canis Minor.
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62.  Carina

Astronomers from the University of Florida will take a second look this summer at a rare cosmic cradle for the universe's largest stars, the constellation Carina. The massive gas cloud is located 8,000 light years away in the Southern sky and is home to stars that grow up to have 50 times the sun's mass. The constellation was once part of the larger constellation Argo Navis until it split into three. The cloud is in the early stages of collapsing in on itself, offering astronomers an unusual vista on the first contractions of behemoth star birth.

63.  Columba

Columba (which means 'dove' in Latin) is a small constellation that is found just south of Canis Major and Lepus. In 1670, Augustin Royer deemed it the cut out of the constellation named Canis Major. Before it gained the recognition of becoming a full constellation, Columba was known as Columba Noachi and had already been spotted as an asterism in Bayers Uranometria of 1603. The name of Columba refers to the Dove of Noah that is mentioned in the Torah and the Bible, which served as the first bird to land after the Deluge. Throughout history, it is believed that Petrus Plancius was the first to introduce Columba Noachi as an asterism. This constellation is quite unremarkable, where it possesses the brightest star of α Columbae, which has a magnitude of 2.65 m.
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64.  Eridanus

Eridanus is the River, but which River is being represented in the sky? According to Ridpath, many authors consider Eridanus to represent the Nile River, but it has also been identified with the River Po in Italy. In myth Eridanus is the river in which the young Phaethon crashed after his disastrous attempt to drive the Chariot of the Sun. The father of Phaethon was the Sun God Helios. Phaethon was eager to drive the magnificent chariot in which Helios drove the disk of the sun across the sky each day. Helios was reluctant to agree to the boy's request, but finally Helios gave in to the lad's persistence and agreed that the boy might drive the chariot.
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65.  Fornax

Fornax is another one of the constellations invented by by Abbe Nicholas Louis de Lacaillewho mapped the stars of the southern hemisphere from the Cape of Good Hope in the years from 1751 to 1753.

De la Caille originally originally named the constellation "Fornax Chemica," the Chemical Furnace. He named the constellation in honor of the famous French chemist Antoine Laurant Lavoisier, one of the most important persons figuring in the birth of modern chemisty. Lavoisier was later to be executed during the French Revolution.Fornax is an extremely dim constellation. It contains no stars brighter than about fourth magnitude.
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66.  Gemini

The Gemini is one the 12 zodiac constellations and lies between Cancer (to the east) and Taurus (to the west). Constellations which lie to its north are Lynx and Auriga while, Canis Minor and Monoceros are to the south. The word 'Gemini' translates as 'twins' in Latin. The two brightest stars of this constellation are the alpha Geminorum (Castor) and beta Geminorum (Pollux) respectively. Let us move on to additional Gemini constellation facts. The Twins represents the two brothers, Castor and Polydeuces. Their mother was Queen Leda of Sparta, who was seduced by Zeus in the form of a swan. That same night she also slept with her husband King Tyndareus. As a result she bore the Twins, one of whom was mortal, and the other immortal.
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67.  Horologium

Horologium is another one of the constellations invented by by Abbe Nicholas Louis de Lacaille who mapped the stars of the southern hemisphere from the Cape of Good Hope in the years from 1751 to 1753.

Horologium is an extremely dim constellation containing no stars brighter than about the fourth magnitude.
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68.  Lepus

According to Staal, the legend of the Easter Bunny may also be connected with this constellation. According to the story, there was at one time a bird, which was changed into the hare by the Anglo-Saxon Goddess of Spring, whose name was Ostara. or Eostre. The creature lost its power to fly, but Ostara compensated this loss by giving the hare great speed.

Once a year the hare is allowed to lay eggs again, which is why in the springtime, we hunt for the eggs of the Easter Bunny.
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69.  Monoceros

Monoceros is a modern constellation. According to Ian Ridpath, it was apparently invented by the Dutch theologian and astronomer Petrus Plancius about 1613.

This constellation is quite dim. There is no classical mythology associated with it.
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70.  Pictor

Pictor is another one of the constellations invented by by Abbe Nicholas Louis de Lacaille who mapped the stars of the southern hemisphere from the Cape of Good Hope in the years from 1751 to 1753. The official name is Equuleus Pictoris, the Painter's Easel, but astronomers usually refer to the constellation merely as Pictor.
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71.  Puppis

Puppis is the Stern of the Ship Argo, which was once represented in the sky by the very large constellation Argo Navis. On his sky chart published in 1763 Abbe Nicholas Louis de Lacaille divided Argo Navis into the three separate constellations of Carina, Puppis, and Velarepresenting the Keel, Stern, and Sail of the Argo. Jason and the fifty greatest heroes of Greece sailed the Argo off into the Black Sea of Asia to recover the fabulous Golden Fleece. The twins Castor and Polydeuces (Pollux) were part of the crew, along with Argus, the builder of the ship. Hercules was also part of the crew, and Orpheus, the great musician as well.
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72.  Reticulum

In 1969, in accordance with the Terence Dickinson article, “The Zeta Reticuli Incident,” Ms. Marjorie Fish, a schoolteacher from Ohio, determined that the hub of the famous Betty Hill Star Map was Zeta 2 Reticuli, a fifth magnitude solar type star about 37 light-years distant, located in the southern hemisphere skies in a small constellation named Reticulum. Bob Lazar claimed that the U.S. Government documents he had reviewed while working at S4 stated the flying discs in the U.S. Government's possession were built at the fourth planet orbiting Zeta 2 Reticuli.
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73.  Taurus

The constellation of Taurus, “The Bull,” lies along the winter Milky Way. It contains many objects, primarily open clusters, the most famous of which is The Pleiades. Another cluster, The Hyades, forms the head of the bull. The Crab Nebula with its bright center and ragged edges is a left-over from a supernova.

Astrologically, Taurus is the sign of people born between April 20 and May 20. Its element is Earth and it carries feminine, receptive energy. The ruling planet is Venus, the Roman goddess of beauty and the arts, pleasure, and emotions. Venus also represents a love of luxury.
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74.  Vela

This constellation was formerly part of the very large constellation Argo Narvis - the ship of the Jason and the Argonauts who sort the Golden Fleece, which was broken up in 1877 by Gould. Since Vela is only part of a once-larger constellation, there are no stars labelled α or β.

The stars κ and δ Velorum, in conjunction with ι and ε Carinae, form the "False Cross" that is sometimes mistaken for the real Southern Cross (Crux).

Vela lies in a part of the Milky Way rich in faint nebulosity, visible in long exposure photographs, known as the Gum Nebula, after the Australian astronomer Colin S. Gum, who drew attention to it in 1952. Near the centre of the gigantic Gum nebula lies the Vela Supernova remnant (SNR), which photographs show as a beautiful intricate network of filaments spreading over an area equal to the diameter of nearly 16 Full Moons. Within the remnant is the Vela pulsar, lying about 1500 light years away.
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75.   Antlia

The constellation of Antlia was created by Abbe Nicholas Louis de La Caille who mapped the stars of the southern hemisphere from the Cape of Good Hope in the years from 1751 to 1753. De La Caille named the constellation with the full name Antlia Pneumatica. He showed it on his 1763 sky chart as a pump of the type invented by the French physicist Denis Papin.
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76.  Boötes

The Bootes constellation is a difficult one. Not to find or see but to pronounce and understand.Boötes(notice the marking above the second o) is pronounced in three syllables...boh-oh-tease.Understanding the constellation mythology is slightly harder. There are many different myths about Boötes.He is a herdsman, which is the meaning of the name in Greek, in one myth.He is the inventor of the plow in another myth. Using his team of oxen to drive them around the Pole.This is what rotates the Earth and sky.Some myths have him as a hunter chasing the great bear Ursa Major which the big dipper constellation is formed from.
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77.  Cancer

The Greek mythology of Cancer the Crab is simply a family mess. It is hard to imagine that the mighty family of Zeus could be so dysfunctional, but there you have it. The story begins with Zeus having an affair with Alcmene, the queen of Tiryns. The result of this union was the Heracles (the Romans named him our familiar Hercules), the most famous Greek Hero. Of course, this union and offspring did not go over too well with Hera, the wife of Zeus. Hera, in her jealous state, swore to kill Hercules. Hera attempted to have Hercules killed many times but his imposing strength allowed him to overcome. Cancer comes into this ‘beloved’ scene when Hercules is fighting the terrible water-serpent, Hydra. During the battle between Heracles and Hydra, Hera sent Cancer, the giant crab, to aid the serpent. As the violent fight took place, Cancer was nipping at Hercules feet. But Heracles, being so mighty in strength, killed the crab by smashing its shell with his foot. Hera then placed the crab's image in the night sky as a reward for it’s service.
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78.  Canes Venatici

CAnes Venatici, the hound dogs, is very unnoticeable and minor constellation positioned at south of the handle of the Big Dipper. The constellation is formed only two stars of alpha and beta CVn, was introduced by J. Hevelius in 1690. It represents the two dogs of Asterion and Chara, held on a leash by Bootes as they chase the Big Bear (Ursa Major) around the North Pole.Alpha Canum Venaticorum with the second magnitude is well known called Col Caroli, meaning of the Heart of Charles. This name was given by Edmund Halley, naming it after King Charles II after the restoration of the monarchy in Britain in 1660. The constellation chart in the left shows the Heart with the crown put on at the star of Col Caroli.

The constellation has many bright galaxies in the outer space, and the Col Caroli is the good mark to search those deep sky objects.

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79.  Centaurus

Centaurs were a race half-human and half-horse. They were a quarrelsome ill-bred race who loved to drink. The Archer Sagittarius is also a centaur, but the constellation of Centaurus represents the leader of the centaur race, an individual known as Chiron. Chiron was quite different from the other centaurs. Actually Chiron became a centaur as the result of an accident; he was conceived when his father Cronus, the chief of the elder gods known as Titans, seduced the sea nymph Philyra. When the pair were surprised by Rhea, Cronus' wife, the guilty husband changed himself into a horse in order to escape the wrath of his wife. As a result of Cronus' transformation the child conceived with Philyra became half-horse itself. This was the centaur Chiron.
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80.  Coma Berenices

Coma Berenices is one of the traditional asterisms (group of stars) known to man since the Hellenistic period. It is located adjacent to the constellation Leo. Coma Berenices is one of the few that have been named after a famous person in history. It was named after Queen Berenice II of Egypt, who was known because of her hair that she sacrificed to the gods so that her husband Ptolemy III Euergetes would return home safely.

It was not included in the 48 constellations of Ptolemy because during that time it was considered as part of Leo. The constellation was bordered by Canis Venatici, Ursa Major, Leo and Virgo.
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