In the night sky: Orion
In the night sky: Orion

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

In the night sky: Orion

1.2.3 Moving constellations

Most of the names that we know constellations by come from ancient Middle Eastern, Greek, and Roman mythologies. The movement of stars through the sky has been the topic of stories and superstitions throughout human history.

The constellations appear to move across the sky because of the rotation of the Earth and the orbit of the Earth around the Sun, so different constellations can be seen at different times of the year and at different times of the night.

Activity 1.1

Get out your star wheel or open the Stellarium app that you looked at in Map of the night sky, and use it to find out what stars you might be able to see in the sky this evening.

  • Star wheel – turn the top circle around until it reveals the current date and time.
  • Stellarium – the app will fast forward to what you’ll see as soon as it’s dark and track the movement of the stars as the timer moves forward. You can speed this up so that you can see the stars ‘move’ over the course of a night.

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371