Most of the stars and galaxies in SkyServer have never been studied by anyone. So they give you the perfect chance to find your own constellations! Like the ancient Greeks or Japanese, you can find new patterns of stars that make new constellations.
Step 1: Your teacher will give you a sheet of graph paper. Draw a very simple shape on the paper. Draw whatever you like – maybe an animal, a person, or an everyday object like a pencil. Think about how to make your drawing out of stars, like the Greeks made Orion. Draw about 6-10 stars on your graph paper, to form an outline of your constellation.
Now, go to SkyServer’s Navigation Tool. You’ll see a screen like this:
The boxes “ra” and “dec” in the top left of the tool give the location in the sky. They are coordinates, like x and y in math or longitude and latitude in geography. “Get Image” loads a new image. You can zoom in or out in the image with the zoom bar below Get Image. Click the plus sign to zoom in or the minus sign to zoom out. You can also move around in the sky by clicking the NWSE buttons around the image.
Pick some area of the sky, then look for your constellation! Find stars or galaxies that match the outline you made on graph paper. They don’t have to match exactly. It might help to zoom out, so you can see a larger area of sky at once.
When you find your constellation, start clicking on its stars and galaxies. When you click on an object, a green square will come up around it, and a close-up will appear in the top right. Click “Add to Notes” to add the star or galaxy to your online notebook
Add each star in your constellation to your notebook. When you are finished, click “Show Notes” to see your notebook, then click “Export” to save it to your computer. You now have a record of your constellation!
Here is an example to get you started. The picture below shows the “Rudolph Constellation,” near ra = 219.75, dec = 0.3. You can find this area by opening the Navigation Tool, entering the coordinates, and clicking Get Image. Look for the red star – that’s Rudolph’s nose!
The Rudolph constellation is made up of 6 stars. To learn more about a star, click on it and look at its data in the right-hand frame. The numbers “u, g, r, i, z” are five kinds of magnitudes. What can you learn about these stars from studying SkyServer data?
Does the Rudolph constellation look like a red-nosed reindeer to you? What would you call it?
Now it’s your turn. Use the Navigation tool to find your constellations. Then, think about what the constellation looks like to you – use your imagination! You can make up a story about why the constellation is there, like the Greeks did.
North Lake Park Community School
The butterfly can live almost any where like the Amazon River and jungle. The butterfly has different color wing patterns. Also butterflies are really beautiful. Some butterflies are poisonous. Some butterflies are really cool because they can blend in. That is how the butterfly became a constellation.
I like water snakes because they swim a lot in the water. Also I like water snakes because they fight with other water snakes and you don’t know who is going to win. And I like water snakes because they catch their pray in the water. This snake became a Constellation because it helped other snakes and became the greatest snake in the world.
The Twin Towers
The Twin Towers are in the sky because Osama Ben Laden ordered two men to run their air planes into the Twin Towers. The over 2000 people died but at least those people are in heaven. In the sky we now see the Twin Towers because it was a great tower.
A person lives in a city, town and state. They are bad and sometime nice. They are different colors. They are different sizes. That’s how a person became a constellation.
The Badger with a Spot
One day badger got a spot, he was so ashamed of it that he went to space and never came back down!
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In Jesus’s time flora was a fish that lived in the pond and Jesus became good friends with flora and one day he met a blind child who had always wanted a pet fish. So Jesus asked flora if she wanted to be a pet and she said yes and went to live with billy. Billy took good care of her and when the time came for show and tell at billy’s school he took flora in her tank. It was a very windy day so billy covered the tank up with a cloth. When billy got to school he took the cover off and flora had disappeared!!!!!! Billy was very upset so that night he lay on his bed and looked out of his window at the stars and there he saw a constellation of a fish it looked just like flora so he named it after her. That’s why Christians have a fish symbol to represent Jesus. But we know that it should be in memory of flora as well.