Constellations

Although we spend almost all our time under the stars imaging deep sky objects, we are in love with Astrophotography in its full extent.

We started the hobby with the intent of capturing all Messier objects or our own catalog. This is our primary focus, but we've imaged many NGC and IC objects, have done wide field astrophotography and have tried our hands at planetary imaging a few times.  Now, we'd like to add a new type of target to our hunting list: Constellations.

Constellations are groups of stars which, if outlined in a specific manner, take the shape of animals, objects, or mythical beings.

 

If you'd like to learn the constellations, their history and their location in the sky, consider reading The Constellation Guidebook.

There are 88 constellations in the night sky, many of which are only visible from the Southern hemisphere. Obviously, it will take us a while to capture them all, and a lot of traveling!

The Constellations Handbook Cover low.jp

Below you will find our photos of the constellations. We are using our secondary camera to capture these on the side while our telescope and our main camera are hard at work, so they might not be amazing. Our long-term goal is to have wonderful photos of all the constellations with even the faintest gas visible in each.

How Many Constellations are there?

There are five types of nebulae known. Almost all of the nebulae captured by amateur astrophotographers are found in our own Milky Way galaxy. With great equipment and skills, you can also capture some of these objects from the nearby galaxies such as the Magellanic clouds or M33

  • 1) Claudius Ptolemy

    Claudius Ptolemy was a Greco- Roman astronomer, mathematician, and geographer born in 100 AD.

    Ptolemy had a huge impact on how we see our night sky today. He was the first to publish a full list of groups of stars forming a pattern, known as constellations.

    He entered them in the Almagest, and named them after beasts, heroes, and objects from the Greek mythology.

  • 2) Johannes Hevelius

    Johannes HEVELIUS was a Polish astronomer born on January 28, 1611.

    Johannes Hevelius is renowned as the last astronomer to have a major impact on the world without using a telescope. He is also credited as the founder of lunar topography, and of course is known as one of the fathers of the constellations.

  • 3) Nicolas-Louis de Lacaille

    Born in March 1713, French astronomer Nicolas- Louis de Lacaille started his life as an abbot.

    On April 19th, 1751, the astronomer was sent to the Cape of Good Hope, in South Africa.

    Using a quadrant, a sextant, and a tiny, 26-inch focal length telescope, Lacaille observed the sky every night for over a year. He recorded the position of more than 10,000 stars and 42 deep sky objects, some of which appear in the Messier catalog.


     

  • 4) Petrus Plancius

    In 1595, Petrus Plancius sent two Dutch explorers on a mission to record the position of the stars in the Indies.

    Out of 248 sailors that embarked on the perilous journey across the sea, only 81 survived.

    In total, 16 new constellations were added thanks to the Dutch explorers.

Constellation Astrophotography

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