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Astronomy

How many constellations have been identified as of today?

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May 11, 2012 9:57PM

There seems to be some kind of misapprehension here.

Constellations are not "out there waiting to be discovered". Somebody saw a pattern of stars that vaguely suggested something to them, and bingo, constellation (well, technically, asterism, which is not quite the same thing).

There are 88 officially recognized constellations. They cover the entire sky, so there's no possibility of any additional ones being "discovered."

There have been hundreds if not thousands of asterisms discovered/named by various individuals and cultures. But there are only 88 recognized by the International Astronomical Union, and unless they decide to break an existing one into two or more pieces, there will never be any more than that.

It's technically possible that if people settled on a planet around some other star that they might decide to redo the constellations, but from Earth, 88 is it.