History of Constellations

Long before history has been recorded, humans have studied the stars in the night sky. Although we have looked at stars for thousands of years, it wasn’t until 1930 that the 88 constellations were officially named by the International Astronomical Union. 48 of these constellations were named by Ptolemy in his book The Almagest in 150 A.D. The rest of the 40 constellations were given names by various astronomers throughout the years. In modern terms, a constellation is an area or region in the sky. That area has stars within them to identifying the region, but the stars and the patterns they make are referred to as “asterisms.


One thought on “History of Constellations

  1. Richard, it is astounding that Ptolemy, in 150 A.D., named more than half of the constellations named in 1930. It is remarkable to think that albeit technology was not as sophisticated as it is today, Ptolemy was able to discover, map, and (of course) name many of the constellations we see in the sky today.


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