What are constellations?

The entire sky (half of which is above the horizon at any moment) is divided into 88 constellations. The constellations and their borders have nothing to do with science. The stars in a particular constellation are not necessarily related to one another, nor are they even near each other in space. The constellations recognized by astronomers in the northern sky come from ancient Greek and Roman mythological star-pictures. The southern constellations were named by the first Western mariners to explore southern waters. Other cultures have their own constellation patterns, which do not necessarily match "classical" ones. Constellations cover much too broad an area of space to be imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), and there really is no reason for HST to photograph constellation patterns even if it could be done.

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