Constellations

This passage discusses star constellations and how they can be useful.

Lexile Level: 970L

Categories: Science & Technology


Constellations are groups of stars that seem to form a shape in the sky. Before there were calendars, farmers watched for stars that appeared only at certain times of the year to remind them it was time to sow seeds or pick crops. When astronomers, or scientists who study the stars, began making maps of the sky, they used constellations to show what stars were in which parts of the sky. Sailors used these charts to guide their boats. Poets made up stories about the figures imagined in the stars. Ancient Greeks told stories of the great hunter Orion, which remains one of the largest and easiest constellations to find. This is because of three stars in a row that are called "Orion's belt." Throughout time, people gave constellations many names. Eventually, it became confusing! So around 1930, astronomers worldwide agreed on 88 official constellations.


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