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List of Constellations Names

written by: Stephanie Mojica•edited by: George Adcock•updated: 4/26/2010

If you're gazing at the stars in the night sky, you might not consider that many of these have constellations names. Learn more about constellations in this article.

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    Constellations Defined

    A constellation is a group of stars visible within a defined region of the night sky, according to NASA.

    Astronomers have divided the night sky into 88 distinct constellations. Some of the names date back to the ancient Greek and Roman days; you can notice the historic impact on constellations names when you hear words such as Cassiopeia and Orion. Some constellations were also named after signs in the zodiac system.

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    Additional Related History

    In 1928, the International Astronomical Union formalized the process required to keep the 88 named constellations as previously defined by astronomers, according to the website The Cowiche Astronomer. Little has changed in the sky since explorers first started noticing constellations in the 1400s.

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    Constellations List, Part 1

    Auriga photographed in 2010 by Suraky on Flickr; Creative Commons rights-cleared commercial image. The following are some of the named constellations in existence as well as the translations of the names. Keep in mind that not all constellations are visible in every part of the world or during every month of the year.

    • Andromeda (Chained Maiden.)
    • Antlia (Air Pump.)
    • Apus (Bird of Paradise.)
    • Aquarius (Water Bearer.)
    • Aquila (Eagle.)
    • Ara (Altar.)
    • Aries (Ram.)
    • Auriga (Charioteer.)
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    Constellations List, Part 2

    • Bootes (Herdsmen.)
    • Caelum (Engraving Tool.)
    • Camelopardalis (Giraffe.)
    • Cancer (Crab.)
    • Canes Venatici (Hunting Dog.)
    • Canis Major (Great Dog.)
    • Canis Minor (Lesser Dog.)
    • Capricornus (Sea Goat.)
    • Carina (Keel.)
    • Cassiopeia (Seated Queen.)
    • Centaurus (Centaur.)
    • Cepheus (King.)
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    Constellations List, Part 3

    • Cetus (Sea Monster.)
    • Chamaeleon (Chameleon.)
    • Circinus (Compass.)
    • Columba (Dove.)
    • Coma Berenices (Bernice's Hair.)
    • Corona Australis (Southern Crown.)
    • Corona Borealis (Northern Crown.)
    • Corvus (Crow.)
    • Crater (Cup.)
    • Crux (Southern Cross.)
    • Cygnus (Swan.)
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    Constellations List, Part 4

    • Delphinus (Dolphin.)
    • Dorado (Dolphinfish.)
    • Draco (Dragon.)
    • Equuleus (Little Horse.)
    • Eridanus (River.)
    • Fornax (Furnace.)
    • Gemini (Twins.)
    • Grus (Crane.)
    • Hercules (Hercules.)
    • Horologium (Clock.)
    • Hydra (Female Water Snake.)
    • Hydrus (Male Water Snake.)
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    Constellations List, Part 5

    • Indus (Indian.)
    • Lacerta (Lizard.)
    • Leo (Lion.)
    • Leo Minor (Lesser Lion.)
    • Lepus (Hare.)
    • Libra (Scales.)
    • Lupus (Wolf.)
    • Lynx (Lynx.)
    • Lyra (Lyre.)
    • Mensa (Table Mountain.)
    • Microscopium (Microscope.)
    • Monoceros (Unicorn.)
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    Constellations List, Part 6

    • Musca (Fly.)
    • Norma (Carpenter's Square.)
    • Octans (Octant.)
    • Ophiuchus (Serpent Bearer.)
    • Orion (Hunter.)
    • Pavo (Peacock.)
    • Pegasus (Winged Horse.)
    • Perseus (Hero.)
    • Phoenix (Phoenix.)
    • Pictor (Painter's Easel.)
    • Pisces (Fish.)
    • Piscis Austrinus (Southern Fish.)
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    Constellations List, Part 7

    • Puppis (Stern.)
    • Pyxis (Compass.)
    • Reticulum (Reticle.)
    • Sagitta (Arrow.)
    • Sagittarius (Archer.)
    • Scorpius (Scorpion.)
    • Sculptor (Sculptor.)
    • Scutum (Shield.)
    • Serpens (Serpent.)
    • Sextans (Sextent.)
    • Taurus (Bull.)
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    Constellations List, Part 8

    • Telescopium (Telescope.)
    • Triangulum (Triangle.)
    • Triangulum Australe (Southern Triangle.)
    • Tucana (Toucan.)
    • Ursa Major (Great Bear.)
    • Ursa Minor (Lesser Bear.)
    • Vela (Sails.)
    • Virgo (Maiden.)
    • Volans (Flying Fish.)
    • Vulpecula (Fox.)
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    More Constellations Facts

    Winter view of the constellations photographed by Computer_Science_Geek on; Creative Commons rights-cleared commercial image. Now that you have a complete list of constellations names, also consider when might be the best time to see some of the more "famous" names. Mensa is best seen in January, according to the University of Wisconsin. You might be able to see Cassiopeia during the month of November; Cancer is best seen in March.

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    "NASA: Constellation."

    "The Cowiche Astronomer: Constellations Names."

    "University of Wisconsin: Constellations List."