• Constellations
  • WordNet 3.6
    • n constellation an arrangement of parts or elements "the outcome depends on the configuration of influences at the time"
    • n constellation a configuration of stars as seen from the earth
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Additional illustrations & photos:

The Ancient Constellations South of the Ecliptic The Ancient Constellations South of the Ecliptic
The Midnight Constellations of Spring, B.C. 2700 The Midnight Constellations of Spring, B.C. 2700
The Midnight Constellations of Winter, B.C. 2700 The Midnight Constellations of Winter, B.C. 2700
Ophiuchus and the Neighbouring Constellations Ophiuchus and the Neighbouring Constellations
Aquarius and the Neighbouring Constellations Aquarius and the Neighbouring Constellations
Hydra and the Neighbouring Constellations Hydra and the Neighbouring Constellations
Orion and the Neighbouring Constellations Orion and the Neighbouring Constellations

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Constellation A cluster or group of fixed stars, or division of the heavens, designated in most cases by the name of some animal, or of some mythologial personage, within whose imaginary outline, as traced upon the heavens, the group is included. "The constellations seem to have been almost purposely named and delineated to cause as much confusion and inconvenience as possible."
    • Constellation An assemblage of splendors or excellences. "The constellations of genius had already begun to show itself . . . which was to shed a glory over the meridian and close of Philip's reign."
    • Constellation Fortune; fate; destiny. "It is constellation , which causeth all that a man doeth."
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n constellation A group of fixed stars to which a definite name has been given, but which does not form a part of another named group. See asterism. Forty-eight constellations are mentioned in the ancient catalogue of Ptolemy, the majority of which appear to date from 2100 b. c. or earlier. They are distributed as follows: North of the zodiac: Ursa Minor (the Little Bear, said to be formed by Thales, probably from the Dragon's wing), Ursa Major (the Great Bear, the Wain, or the Dipper), Draco (the Dragon), Cepheus, Boötes (the Bear-keeper or Plowman), Corona Borealis (the Northern Crown), Hercules (in the original the Man Kneeling), Lyra (the Harp), Cygnus (the Swan, in the original the Bird), Cassiopeia (the Lady in the Chair), Perseus, Auriga (the Charioteer or Wagoner), Ophiuchus or Serpentarius (the Serpent-bearer), Serpens (the Serpent), Sagitta (the Arrow), Aquila et Antinoüs (the Eagle and Antinoüs), Delphinus (the Dolphin), Equulus or Equuleus (the Colt or the Horse's Head), Pegasus or Equus ⟨the Horse), Andromeda, Triangulum Boreale (the Northern Triangle). In the zodiac: Aries (the Ram), Taurus (the Bull), Gemini (the Twins), Cancer (the Crab), Leo (the Lion), Virgo (the Virgin), Libra (the Balance), Scorpius or Scorpio (the Scorpion), Sagittarius (the Archer), Capricornus (Capricorn, or the Goat), Aquarius (the Water-bearer), Pisces (the Fishes). South of the zodiac: Cetus (the Whale), Orion. ‘Eridanus or Fluvius (the River Po or the River), Lupus (the Hare), Canis Major (the Great Dog), Canis Minor (the Little Dog), Argo Navis (the Ship Argo), Hydra Crater (the Cup), Corvus (the Crow or Raven), Centaurus (the Centaur), Lupus (the Wolf), Ara (the Altar), Corona Australis (the Southern Crown), Piscis Australis (the Southern Fish). Coma Berenices (the Hair of Berenice) is an ancient asterism, which was not reckoned as a constellation by Ptolemy. Antinoüs, mentioned by Ptolemy as part of the constellation Aquila, is said to have been made a separate constellation by Firmicus in the fourth century. Crux (the Crozier or Southern Cross) appears to be mentioned by Dante. The navigators of the sixteenth century added a number of southern constellations. Twelve of these appear in the important star-atlas of Bayer (a. d. 1603), namely: Apus (the Bird of Paradise), Chameleon, Dorado (the Goldfish; or Xiphias. the Swordfish), Grus (the Crane), Hydrus (the Watersnake), Indus (the Indian Man), Musca or Apis (the Fly or the Bee), Pavo (the Peacock), Phœnix, Triangulum Australe (the Southern Triangle), the Toucan (also called Anser Americanus), and Volans (the Flying-fish). Columba (the Dove of Noah) was made by Petrus Plancius early in the sixteenth century. Bartschius in 1624 added several constellations, of which Camelopardalis (the Camelopard) and Monoceros (the Unicorn) are retained by modern astronomers. Hevelius in 1690 added Canes Venatici (the Greyhounds), Lacerta (the Lizard), Leo Minor (the Small Lion), Lynx (the Lynx), Scutum Sobiescii (the Shield of Sobieski), Sextans (the Sextant), and Vulpecula et Anser (the Fox and the Goose). Finally, Lacaille in 1752 added Antlia Pneumatica (the Air-pump), Cælum (the Graver), Circinus (the Compass), Fornax (the Furnace), Horologium (the Clock), Mons Mensæ (the Table-mountain), Microscopium (the Microscope), Norma (the Quadrant), Octans (the Octant), Equus Pictorius (the Painter's Easel), Reticulum (the Net), Sculptor, and Telescopium (the Telescope). The ancient constellation Argo was broken up by Lacaille into the Stern, the Keel, the Sail, and the Mast. There are, thus, eighty-five constellations now recognized. The names of the constellations are mostly derived from Greek and Roman mythology. The practice of designating by the letters of the Greek alphabet (α, β, γ, etc.) the stars which compose each constellation, in the order of their brilliancy, originated with Bayer.
    • n constellation Figuratively, any assemblage of persons or things of a brilliant, distinguished, or exalted character: as, a constellation of wits or beauties, or of great authors.
    • n constellation The influence of the heavenly bodies upon the temperament or life.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Constellation a group of stars: an assemblage of persons distinguished in some way:
    • n Constellation (astrol.) a particular disposition of the planets, supposed to influence the course of human life or character
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. constellation, L. constellatio,
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. constellatus, studded with stars—con, with, stellārestella, a star.


In literature:

The sun shines to-day; the constellations hang there in the heavens the same as of old.
"The Last Harvest" by John Burroughs
The Constellation of Orion, and the radiant Dog-star directed him towards the Pole of Canope.
"Zadig" by Voltaire
A dog-rose had hung out a whole constellation of pale stars for Molly to catch at as they passed.
"The Danvers Jewels, and Sir Charles Danvers" by Mary Cholmondeley
Animals frequently have a part to play in relation to the constellations.
"Animal Figures in the Maya Codices" by Alfred M. Tozzer and Glover M. Allen
I thanked my constellations now that he was dead.
"Brigands of the Moon" by Ray Cummings
A constellation of brilliant preachers of the Gospel and expounders of the law are remembered.
"The Arena" by Various
Rockets by hundreds of thousands shot heaven-ward, and then burst in constellations of fiery drops.
"Edison's Conquest of Mars" by Garrett Putman Serviss
They disappear for a moment and then blaze out and become a permanent constellation.
"A Truthful Woman in Southern California" by Kate Sanborn
Sahu traversed it during the day, surrounded by genii who presided over the lamps forming his constellation.
"History Of Egypt, Chaldæa, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, Volume 1 (of 12)" by G. Maspero
So many millions of new ones had come into view, that she looked in vain for the familiar constellations.
"A Honeymoon in Space" by George Griffith

In poetry:

CHO. Through the night, the constellations,
Have given light from various stations.
When midnight gloom falls on all nations,
We will resume our occupations.
"Thespis: Act I" by William Schwenck Gilbert
'Tis not by chance, nor the decree of fate,
Or any constellation in the sky,
That illness comes, however small or great,
But by th' appointment of the Lord on high.
"Advice To The Sick" by Rees Prichard
Oh, born beneath the Fishes' sign,
Of constellations happiest,
May he somewhere with Walton dine,
May Horace send him Massic wine,
And Burns Scotch drink, the nappiest!
"To Mr. John Bartlett" by James Russell Lowell
If every polish’d gem we find,
Illuminating heart or mind,
Provoke to imitation;
No wonder friendship does the same,
That jewel of the purest flame,
Or rather constellation.
"Friendship" by William Cowper
Like constellations still their works may shine,
In virtue's unextinguished blaze divine;
Happy are they whose race shall end the same--
Sweeter than odours is a virtuous name.
"On The Consequences Of Happy Marriages" by George Moses Horton
With the fervour of my nation,
I worshipped her as months went by,
She was the one constellation,
In my cheerless sky;
Though on me there never fell
One kind glance from Isabel.
"Isabel" by Nora Pembroke

In news:

Constellation Brands Forecast Weak.
But throughout nearly its entire history, Constellation 's presence in Baltimore has been tenuous.
A decade later, Constellation tried to sell itself to.
Constellation Alley is intended to evoke images of constellations and emulate the starry sky.
Constellations , like DC-4?s, were very nose heavy when they were empty and very tail heavy when fully loaded.
Constellation Brands' profit slumps in 3Q.
Stars Form in the Orion Constellation .
Constellation Brands has now purchased 100 percent of the celebrated Italian brand Ruffino.
Constellation Brands is now 100 percent owner of the celebrated Italian brand Ruffino.
New rocket differs from Constellation because "It's going to be disciplined.".
Is Constellation Energy a great company, or what.
Constellation Theatre Company's 'The Green Bird' at Source.
The constellation required eight new “star†members to each put in $5,000 in hopes of rising to moon, planet and finally, sun, when they’d receive $40,000 -- or a 700 percent return.
The Integrys unit won the electrical aggregation contract despite Emanuel's connection to Constellation through its parent company, Exelon, which also owns Commonwealth Edison.

In science:

This constellation is used as a representative configuration for a large FoV system.
Tomographic reconstruction for Wide Field Adaptive Optics systems: Fourier domain analysis and fundamental limitations
In Fig. 7, we show the 2-dimensional residual PSDs for the MMSE (left), the TLSE (center), and the LSE (right) for respectively the 4GS (top) and 8GS (bottom) constellations.
Tomographic reconstruction for Wide Field Adaptive Optics systems: Fourier domain analysis and fundamental limitations
The same argument can be applied to the 8GS constellation.
Tomographic reconstruction for Wide Field Adaptive Optics systems: Fourier domain analysis and fundamental limitations
In addition, the diameter of the 8GS constellation is larger than the 4GS one: the width of its “clean” frequency area is smaller.
Tomographic reconstruction for Wide Field Adaptive Optics systems: Fourier domain analysis and fundamental limitations
This figure shows that for the medium FoV constellation (4GS), a reconstruction on only few layers (typically 3 or 4) is enough to reduce consequently the remaining error.
Tomographic reconstruction for Wide Field Adaptive Optics systems: Fourier domain analysis and fundamental limitations