Were you aware that we have 88 official constellations? Where do they all come from? And who is it who gets to decide which are official or not? Did you know that most of them are roughly two thousand years old? And that one person is primarily responsible for most of the constellations we have, as well as the names of the stars in them? Have you heard that some constellations are actually older than history, while for others we can pinpoint the date when they were created? Do other cultures have the same constellations that we have? Why do some seem more important—or at least, better known—than others? Have any gone extinct? Finally, which of them are most readily visible this month, and what are the planets doing in those constellations? Join us by Zoom to learn more!
Free event! Please register below to receive the Zoom login. You may register up to the presentation start time or even during the meeting to join us.
Time allowed for live Q & A throughout the event. ASL Interpretation featured during the event.
We will show you what it takes to make a constellation, how the most ancient constellations were chosen and named, where and by whom our constellations were developed when most of our sky was “locked-in”, and why modern astronomers have changed the definition of what a constellation is. Along the way, we will provide answers to all the questions raised above. Finally—are you concerned about an asteroid striking the Earth? For our monthly technology update, we will focus on the mission of the recently launched DART spacecraft.
And, as always, we will show you how to find many fun things in the sky this month. Have you noticed that one part of the winter sky features more of the brightest stars than any other season? Do you know how to use Orion or the Big Dipper as pointer systems to locate many other stars and constellations? Can you find the greatest of the ancient constellations as it briefly peeps above the horizon this month? Were you aware that all five naked-eye planets are hiding in the morning sky? We will help you see all of these things for yourself.
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Michigan State University is committed to providing equal opportunity for participation in all programs, services, and activities. Accommodation for persons with disabilities may be requested by contacting 989 374-9904.
Programming is made possible through the support of several local organizations: the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation, the Rollin M. Gerstacker Foundation, the Charles J. Strosacker Foundation, and the Dow Chemical Company Foundation.