Switch to Northern Hemisphere View
Imaginary Figures in the Sky
For observers in the southern hemisphere, Orion passes high across
summer evening skies, upside down. Instead of the mythical figure,
many see the constellation as a saucepan framed
by a quadrilateral of bright stars.
Astronomers use the constellations to divide the sky into convenient
sized areas for study. The bright stars in the constellations are
often linked by straight lines to form distinctive figures. There
are several ways of drawing the figures.
Many observers create their own object location charts by sketching
lines between brighter stars.
With telescopes or binoculars, they step from star to star along
such lines to arrive at difficult to locate objects.