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In the night sky: Orion

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1.2.5 Name a constellation

Figure 10

Now, give your imagination a workout by naming your own constellation.

Activity 1.2

Figure 10 shows a pattern of stars of that are not currently part of any known constellation. Can you invent a constellation to be associated with this pattern of stars?

You can download the constellation as a jpeg image [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]  or as a PDF. Edit it in a photo editing application such as MS Paint or an online application such as Pixlr on your desktop, or in a photo editing app on your smartphone or tablet. Or, if you’d prefer, download the black and white PDF, print it out and draw on it. Don’t forget to give your constellation a name, then come up with a legend to go with it.

You might like to share your images on Twitter, using the hashtag #OLOrion.

To get you started, here are three examples.

Figure 11 Felis

Monica’s constellation: This is the cat, Felis. She was a kitten who followed Orion on his adventures, and tried to help him battle the scorpion. Although she managed to kill the scorpion, she got stung by its tail as it died. In gratitude for Felis’ sacrifice, Artemis placed Felis among the stars where she could chase the scorpion and keep him away from Orion.

Figure 12 Snuffly the Hedgehog

Phillipa’s constellation: Snuffly the Hedgehog marks the beginning of autumn and guides animals through the passage of wintertime to the following spring.

Figure 13 Legasus

Liz’s constellation: The sad story of Pegasus’s younger brother Legasus, who tried to follow his brother’s exploits with Bellerophon. He snuck behind them to try and defeat the Chimera. Spotting him out of the corner of his eye, Pegasus allowed the Chimera to bathe Legasus in a breath of warm fire. He melted to glass, his wings and legs becoming a cradle to rock himself on. Shaking his head at the stupidity of winged horses, Zeus placed Legasus into the northern sky. There he broods and composes long poems about sibling rivalry, and the injustice of being the younger brother of Pegasus.