Stargazers who happen to be in Houston, Texas, will find a wide array of constellations in every direction across the night sky. Constellations are familiar patterns of some of the sky's brightest stars, many of which have been recognized since antiquity. NASA's Space Place offers free online templates to make paper "Star Finders" that will help astronomers in areas from the equator to about latitude 34 degrees north (Houston is located at about latitude 29.5 degrees north) better understand how constellations travel across the night sky.
A to G
The constellations Andromeda, Aries, Auriga, Cancer as well as Canis Minor and major, Orion's mythical pair of hunting dogs, can all be seen at one point or another in Houston's night sky. Cassiopeia, Cepheus, Draco, which is the Latin name for "dragon," and Boötes, which may be the most ancient of all constellations, are seen throughout the year, as well as Cygnus, the "Northern Cross," Corona Borealis, Cetus, Columbia and Corvus. The constellations Aquila, Delphinius, Capricornus, Grus and the water bearer Aquarius can also be seen by stargazers in Houston.
H to M
The Hercules and Hydra constellations, which in Greek mythology met each other in battle to the monster's demise, is one of the largest, in terms of length, over what seems like a huge expanse of Houston's night sky. Gemini, Libra, Leo, the Lion and Lyra, the harp, can also be seen by master and amateur astronomers alike during different times of the year.
N to S
Sagittarius, which contains the center of the Milky Way galaxy; Pegasus, the famous winged horse of Greek mythology; and Orion the hunter are perhaps some of the most readily recognized constellations of Houston's night sky. Ophiucus is the constellation known as the "Serpent Holder" and fashioned after the historical figure from whom the familiar medical symbol of two snakes wrapped around a rod is gotten. Sagitta, Scorpius, Serpense, Pisces and Perseus are also clearly visible during certain times of the year to stargazers in Houston, Texas.
T to Z
Ursa Minor and Ursa Major, better known as the "Little and Big Dippers," represent the "Little and Great Bears," and they are perhaps the most recognizable constellations of Houston's northern horizon. Triangulum is seen as a small, skinny triangle, and it is among the first recognized constellations as it was first drawn thousands of years ago. The distinct V-shape of Taurus, which familiarly represents the bull's head, can also be seen from Houston, Texas, during different times of year.
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