The constellations are imaginary figures made of groups of stars forming patterns which allow an observer to easily identify star positions. Most of them were named in ancient times after animals or mythical creatures. In the 1920’s the borders of the 88 officially recognized constellations were drawn up and finalized by the International Astronomical Union. The stars are designated by a Greek letter and by their equatorial coordinates.
This map of the Southern Hemisphere sky shows the constellations seen by an observer at the South Pole. The sky seems to turn around an axis (passing nearby the North Star), but it is actually the Earth that is turning relative to the stars.
Click on to rotate.
Click the stars to see the names and the shapes of the constellations