What are the largest constellations?


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Todd L Ross
2019-09-03 18:40:49
2019-09-03 18:40:49

Modern astronomers break the sky into 88 designated star groups known as constellations. Here’s a quick breakdown of the five largest.

Constellations are typically measured in square degrees of the night sky; for comparison, a full moon covers about 0.2 square degrees.

  1. Hydra

    Measuring at 1,303 square degrees, Hydra is the largest of the modern constellations. It’s visible in the northern hemisphere from January to May, but it’s best seen in the Southern Hemisphere.


    It’s a string of nearly 20 main stars, and its brightest star, Alphard (also known as Alpha Hydrae), is about 177 light-years away from our sun. In artistic depictions, Hydra is typically represented as a serpent.

  2. Virgo

    Virgo covers 1,294 square degrees. Its brightest star, Spica, is about 260 light-years from Earth, and it’s roughly 2,300 times brighter than our sun.


    Virgo is visible from around the world. In the Southern Hemisphere, it’s most visible in the fall and winter, and in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s most visible in spring and summer.

  3. Ursa Major

    Ursa Major means “great bear" or “larger she-bear” in Latin. It occupies 1,280 square degrees and includes the Big Dipper. The Big Dipper is an seven-star asterism, which is a pattern of stars with no officially recognized boundaries; Ursa Major, the constellation it’s part of, is comprised of about 20 stars.

    Ursa Major

    The Big Dipper is one of the most well-known asterisms in the night sky. In the United States, it’s represented as a ladle, but in other cultures, its shape represents other items such as a plow, bull’s thigh, or a wagon.

    The brightest star in Ursa Major is Alioth (the middle star of the dipper’s handle), which is about 82 light-years from Earth. The constellation’s second-brightest star, Dubhe, is about 2 percent less luminous than Alioth.

  4. Cetus

    Sometimes called “the Whale,” Cetus stretches over 1,231 square degrees. The brightest of these is Beta Ceti, which is 96.3 light-years from Earth. As a whole, Cetus is a fairly dim constellation, and it’s most visible in the Northern Hemisphere in November.


    Cetus gets its name from a misshapen sea monster in Greek mythology, which was sent by Poseidon to consume Andromeda. It’s also depicted as a whale-like creature with various heads attached to its body.

  5. Hercules

    Hercules occupies 1,225 square degrees. It’s often represented as a human body—the body of Hercules, or Heracles, of Greco-Roman mythology.


    Four bright stars make up the “torso" of this body: Pi, Eta, Zeta, and Epsilon Herculis. Hercules is visible in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres. In the Northern Hemisphere, it’s most visible from April through November.

    The brightest star in the constellation is Kornephoros (also called Beta Herculis). It is about 139 light-years from Earth.


Related Questions

It is the 7th largest of the 88 constellations.

The largest of the 12 zodiac constellations is Virgo.

No. Virgo is the biggest of the zodiac constellations and second largest of the recognized 88 constellations in general. It occupies 1294.43 square degrees of the southern sky. Pisces is the fourth largest of the zodiac constellations with 889.417 square degrees.

The largest of all of the constellations is Hydra. It was named after a sea serpent that was found by Hercules.

No matter what everybody else says, Hydra is the largest constellation and Crux is the smallest.

Here are the five largest constellations: 1 Hydra, the water serpent 2 Virgo, the virgin 3 Ursa Major, the big bear 4 Cetus, the whale 5 Hercules, the hero


These are the ZODIACAL CONSTELLATIONS - the constellations of the zodiac.

Hercules is a constellation named after Hercules, the Roman mythological hero adapted from the Greek hero Heracles. Hercules was one of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd century astronomer Ptolem, and it remains one of the 88 modern constellations today. It is the fifth largest of the modern constellations.

There are no constellations in the Earth. They are in space. There are 88 official constellations.

88 modern constellations - a list of the current constellations. Former constellations - a list of former constellations. Chinese constellations List of Nakshatras - sectors along the moon's ecliptic Asterism (astronomy)

constellations are group of stars

Circumpolar stars/constellations are stars/constellations that always stay in the sky; they never rise or set.

No one exactly knows what are constellations for.

The correct spelling is 'constellations'.

The Constellations was created in 2008.

Constellations are patterns of stars, so stars cannot be constellations.

Astronomical visibility from the South Pole is some of the best on earth. The view is through the largest part of the galaxy toward the Southern Hemisphere of stars. From there, depending on the season, you can see such constellations as:Southern Circumpolar ConstellationsCarina CentaurusSouthern CrossSouthern Spring ConstellationAndromedaAquariusCapricornusPegasusPiscesSouthern Summer ConstellationsCanis MajorCetusEridanusGeminiOrionPerseusTaurusThis list is according to a Google search for Southern Hemisphere Constellations.

most of the constellations were named after mythologies.

he discovered constellations in the 1900

Their are 88 constellations in the sky.

There is no such thing as "types of constellations".

No there are no circumpolar constellations on the equator.

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