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Looking to the Heavens

Updated on December 9, 2017
Kenna McHugh profile image

A former teacher and tutor, Kenna enjoys helping children live a better life, understanding the importance of helping them become leaders.

For centuries cultures have looked to the Heavens for answers to the mysteries of life, such as the changes in weather, natural disasters and reasons for human conditions. In the face of what seems to a black drape of sky with random sparking stars, astronomers have officially found 88 constellations. Better yet, we can call them groups of stars as a picture in the sky, and most of them can easily be found and recognize with the naked eye. Whether we can find answers to life’s mysteries or control our destinies or not, let’s take a look and see what constellations we can recognize tonight.

Ursa Major

The third largest constellation, Ursa Major is called the Great bear and is the most famous of all the groups of stars. Why is he so famous? The Big Dipper is more or less half of the Ursa Major constellation. You can see the ladle-shaped stars are as one of the most easily recognizable constellations in the sky.

Ursa Minor

The North Star (Polaris) shines brightly at the end of the Little Dipper’s handle. Once you find that bright star, you have found the Little Dipper and you will see Ursa Minor as the little brother of Ursa Major. Also called Small Bear, the constellation rests in the Northern Hemisphere with Ursa Major.


Most easily see and recognized is the constellation Orion. Also called the Great Hunter, you can find him on the celestial equator, which means most the world can see him when you see him. The key is to find his most noticeable three stars – Alnitak, Mintaka, and Alnilam -- These bright stars make belt. From there you will see his arms and legs.


In the upper area of the Northern Hemisphere you can find Cassiopeia. Greeks astronomers declared Cassiopeia the first constellations they ever discovered. To locate the constellation, you look for the W shape, which is composed of five wonderfully bright stars. You can also locate it by finding the Big Dipper and look to the opposite side. The constellation's legend is based on the Ethiopian queen Cassiopea, who was known for her unrivaled beauty and vanity.

Better yet, we can call them groups of stars as a picture in the sky, and most of them can easily be found and recognize with the naked eye.

Scorpius - The Scorpion

One of the longest-standing constellations known to man, Scorpius aligns with the initial six signs of the zodiac. The constellation had a larger span of stars, but a portion of on the western side, which was the scorpion claws, now belongs to weighing scales, and its symbol of Libra.

Leo - The Lion

Known for being pretty compact as constellation, Leo is very easy to recognize because the shape of the stars looks like a lion, which is not like other constellations. Probably the easiest way to recognize the group of stars is to find the backwards question mark. The question mark is the front of his body and head.


Containing the orange and fourth brightest star, Arcturus, Boötes is also home to many more bright stars. He actually totals 29 stars that can be seen with the human eye. Located in the northern sky, the name means ploughman or herdsman or ox-driver, and he is best found in sky during late May.


Griffith Observatory

Griffith Observatory is a fine example of an awesome place to observe the constellations. The building is astrologically designed, the observatory holds free public star gazing events from 2:00 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. Volunteers from different astronomical societies assist the public in viewing the constellations. The public can view the sun, moon and other visible planets and objects. A variety of telescopes is available as astronomers talk about what is up in the sky and their equipment.

What are the Constellations?

Locating Constellations

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All of the Constellations in HD

Best to View the Constellations

You are interested in viewing the constellations. It is best to take a drive out away from the city lights such as the mountains or open fields, a place where there are no lights and darkness is everywhere. Lay down on a blanket looking up at the stars and see the magical world of the Heavens.

© 2015 Kenna McHugh


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    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 2 weeks ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, Kenna -- you are so welcome, and so am I. I'm looking forward to reading more of your tremendous hubs. Write me anytime.

    • Kenna McHugh profile image

      Kenna McHugh 2 weeks ago from Northern California


      Thank you for the kind message. I am so happy we are connected. Hugs!

    • kenneth avery profile image

      Kenneth Avery 2 weeks ago from Hamilton, Alabama

      Hi, Kenna -- wow! Great work! Loved your lay-out, presentation as well. I saw your notification and was I ever Glad. Thank you so much. I feel as if I have been blessed with a good friend: YOU.

      May the best of life come to you.


    • Kenna McHugh profile image

      Kenna McHugh 5 months ago from Northern California

      Thank you for the comment. I hope you see my reply.

    • Kenna McHugh profile image

      Kenna McHugh 5 months ago from Northern California

      The stars have always amazed me because they are so vast and far away. As the Earth revolves around the sun with the influence of the moon, it must affect us in different ways. Some dream, some get emotional while others remain the same or normal for them. When I gaze at the stars, I see infinite space and freedom, an epiphany. During the Fall, as the nights become longer and the days shorter viewing the constellations is not as easy and I miss it.

    • lovetherain profile image

      lovetherain 5 months ago from Untited States

      I have recently been fascinated by the polar stars and constellation. Such as the two bears. I've even been having dreams lately. I think it has to do with the Precession of the Equinoxes.