Identify Constellations

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Each lab class will have a session scheduled in the Rauch Planetarium to help you learn to identify constellations, bright stars, and the planets that are currently visible. It will help if you work on this with a star chart of your own, such as you mightfind in an astronomy book, or in one of these free resources:

Monthly sky maps

Tonight's sky including artficial satellites

Weekly guide and news

Beautiful planetarium software for your computer

If want to pursue this and learn the night sky well, you should consider getting a planisphere star finder if one was not already required for the lecture class. This is a rotating map of the sky that will show you how it appears on any date and time. We will provide star charts to help you in the lab. You may install the free Stellarium software to review the appearance of the sky at home.

Constellations seen from the Northern Hemisphere by Season


  • Aquila (Altair)
  • Corona Borealis
  • Cygnus (Deneb)
  • Draco
  • Hercules
  • Lyra (Vega)
  • Sagittarius
  • Scorpius (Antares)


  • Andromeda
  • Cepheus
  • Cassiopeia
  • Pegasus
  • Perseus (Algol)


  • Auriga (Capella)
  • Canis Major
  • Canis Minor (Procyon)
  • Gemini
  • Orion (Betelgeuse and Rigel)
  • Taurus (Aldebaran and the Pleiades)


  • Bootes (Arcturus)
  • Cancer
  • Leo (Regulus)
  • Virgo (Spica)
  • Ursa Major (pointer stars)
  • Ursa Minor (Polaris)