Constellations Master Objects List  |  Search  |  TOC Back  |  Up  |  Next
Abbreviation Name Pronunciation English Name Genitive
And Andromeda an-DRAH-mih-duh Chained Maiden Andromedae an-DRAH-mih-dee
Ant Antlia ANT-lee-uh Air Pump Antliae ANT-lee-ee
Aps Apus APE-us
Bird of Paradise Apodis APP-oh-diss
Aqr Aquarius uh-QUAIR-ee-us Water Bearer Aquarii uh-QUAIR-ee-eye
Aql Aquila ACK-will-uh
Eagle Aquilae ACK-will-ee
Ara Ara AIR-uh
Altar Arae AIR-ee
Ari Aries AIR-eez
Ram Arietis uh-RYE-ih-tiss
Aur Auriga aw-RYE-guh Charioteer Aurigae aw-RYE-ghee
Boo Boötes bo-OH-teez Herdsman Boötis bo-OH-tiss
Cae Caelum SEE-lum Engraving Tool Caeli SEE-lye
Cam Camelopardalis cuh-MEL-oh-PAR-duh-liss Giraffe Camelopardalis cuh-MEL-oh-PAR-duh-liss
Cnc Cancer CAN-ser Crab Cancri CANG-cry
CVn Canes Venatici CANE-eez (CAN-eez)
Hunting Dogs Canum Venaticorum CANE-um CAN-um
CMa Canis Major CANE-iss (CAN-iss) MAY-jer Great Dog Canis Majoris CANE-iss (CAN-iss)
CMi Canis Minor CANE-iss (CAN-iss) MY-ner Lesser Dog Canis Minoris CANE-iss (CAN-iss)
Cap Capricornus CAP-rih-CORN-us Sea Goat Capricorni CAP-rih-CORN-eye
Car Carina cuh-RYE-nuh
Keel Carinae cuh-RYE-nee
Cas Cassiopeia CASS-ee-uh-PEE-uh Seated Queen Cassiopeiae CASS-ee-uh-PEE-ye
Cen Centaurus sen-TOR-us Centaur Centauri sen-TOR-eye
Cep Cepheus SEE-fyoos
King Cephei SEE-fee-eye
Cet Cetus SEE-tus Sea Monster Ceti SEE-tie
Cha Chamaeleon cuh-MEAL-yun
Chameleon Chamaeleontis cuh-MEAL-ee-ON-tiss
Cir Circinus SER-sin-us Compass Circini SER-sin-eye
Col Columba cuh-LUM-buh Dove Columbae cuh-LUM-bee
Com Coma Berenices COE-muh
Bernice's Hair Comae Berenices COE-mee
CrA Corona Australis cuh-ROE-nuh aw-STRAL-iss Southern Crown Coronae Australis cuh-ROE-nee aw-STRAL-iss
CrB Corona Borealis cuh-ROE-nuh
Northern Crown Coronae Borealis cuh-ROE-nee
Crv Corvus COR-vus Crow Corvi COR-vye
Crt Crater CRAY-ter Cup Crateris cruh-TEE-riss
Southern Cross Crucis CROO-siss
Cyg Cygnus SIG-nus Swan Cygni SIG-nye
Del Delphinus del-FINE-us
Dolphin Delphini del-FINE-eye
Dor Dorado duh-RAH-do Swordfish Doradus duh-RAH-dus
Dra Draco DRAY-co Dragon Draconis druh-CONE-iss
Equ Equuleus eh-QUOO-lee-us Little Horse Equulei eh-QUOO-lee-eye
Eri Eridanus ih-RID-un-us River Eridani ih-RID-un-eye
For Fornax FOR-naks Furnace Fornacis for-NAY-siss
Gem Gemini JEM-uh-nye
Twins Geminorum JEM-uh-NOR-um
Gru Grus GRUSS
Crane Gruis GROO-iss
Her Hercules HER-kyuh-leez Hercules Herculis HER-kyuh-liss
Hor Horologium hor-uh-LOE-jee-um Clock Horologii hor-uh-LOE-jee-eye
Hya Hydra HIGH-druh Female Water Snake Hydrae HIGH-dree
Hyi Hydrus HIGH-drus Male Water Snake Hydri HIGH-dry
Ind Indus IN-dus Indian Indi IN-dye
Lac Lacerta luh-SER-tuh Lizard Lacertae luh-SER-tee
Leo Leo LEE-oh Lion Leonis lee-OH-niss
LMi Leo Minor LEE-oh MY-ner Lesser Lion Leonis Minoris lee-OH-niss
Lep Lepus LEEP-us
Hare Leporis LEP-or-iss
Lib Libra LEE-bruh, LYE-bruh Scales Librae LEE-bree
Lup Lupus LOOP-us Wolf Lupi LOOP-eye
Lyn Lynx LINKS Lynx Lyncis LIN-siss
Lyr Lyra LYE-ruh Lyre Lyrae LYE-ree
Men Mensa MEN-suh Table Mountain Mensae MEN-see
Mic Microscopium my-cruh-SCOPE-ee-um Microscope Microscopii my-cruh-SCOPE-ee-eye
Mon Monoceros muh-NAH-ser-us Unicorn Monocerotis muh-NAH-ser-OH-tiss
Mus Musca MUSS-cuh Fly Muscae MUSS-see
Nor Norma NOR-muh Carpenter's Square Normae NOR-mee
Oct Octans OCK-tanz Octant Octantis ock-TAN-tiss
Oph Ophiuchus OFF-ee-YOO-kus
Serpent Bearer Ophiuchi OFF-ee-YOO-kye
Ori Orion oh-RYE-un, uh-RYE-un Hunter Orionis or-eye-OH-niss
Pav Pavo PAY-vo Peacock Pavonis puh-VOE-niss
Peg Pegasus PEG-us-us Winged Horse Pegasi PEG-us-eye
Per Perseus PER-see-us
Hero Persei PER-see-eye
Phe Phoenix FEE-nix Phoenix  Phoenicis fuh-NICE-iss
Pic Pictor PICK-ter Painter's Easel Pictoris pick-TOR-iss
Psc Pisces PICE-eez, PISS-eez Fishes Piscium PICE-ee-um
PsA Piscis Austrinus PICE-iss (PISS-iss)
Southern Fish Piscis Austrini PICE-iss (PISS-iss)
Pup Puppis PUP-iss Stern Puppis PUP-iss
Pyx Pyxis PIX-iss Compass Pyxidis PIX-ih-diss
Ret Reticulum rih-TICK-yuh-lum Reticle Reticuli rih-TICK-yuh-lye
Sge Sagitta suh-JIT-uh Arrow Sagittae suh-JIT-ee
Sgr Sagittarius SAJ-ih-TARE-ee-us Archer Sagittarii SAJ-ih-TARE-ee-eye
Sco Scorpius SCOR-pee-us Scorpion Scorpii SCOR-pee-eye
Scl Sculptor SCULP-ter Sculptor Sculptoris sculp-TOR-iss
Sct Scutum SCOOT-um
Shield Scuti SCOOT-eye
Ser Serpens SER-punz Serpent Serpentis ser-PEN-tiss
Sex Sextans SEX-tunz Sextant Sextantis sex-TAN-tiss
Tau Taurus TOR-us Bull Tauri TOR-eye
Tel Telescopium tel-ih-SCOPE-ee-um Telescope Telescopii tel-ih-SCOPE-ee-eye
Tri Triangulum try-ANG-gyuh-lum Triangle Trianguli try-ANG-gyuh-lye
TrA Triangulum Australe try-ANG-gyuh-lum
Southern Triangle Trianguli Australis try-ANG-gyuh-lye
Tuc Tucana too-KAY-nuh
Toucan Tucanae too-KAY-nee
UMa Ursa Major ER-suh MAY-jur Great Bear Ursae Majoris ER-suh muh-JOR-iss
UMi Ursa Minor ER-suh MY-ner Little Bear Ursae Minoris ER-suh mih-NOR-iss
Vel Vela VEE-luh
Sails Velorum vee-LOR-um
Vir Virgo VER-go Maiden Virginis VER-jin-iss
Vol Volans VOH-lanz Flying Fish Volantis vo-LAN-tiss
Vul Vulpecula vul-PECK-yuh-luh Fox Vulpeculae vul-PECK-yuh-lee

Constellation names in gold type in the above table are links to wide-field image maps for those constellations. Not all constellations have image maps.

When we want to find something in the sky we usually first think of the constellation in which the object is located.

A coordinate system of right ascension and declination, an analog of Earthly longitude and latitude projected onto the sky, gives an exact and precise location. However, I can't say I have memorized the celestial coordinates of a single deep-sky object. I do, however, know the locations of many objects in their constellations and can find them by simple star hopping and by triangulating between star positions. If I need exact coordinates I can simply look them up, or dial them into my computer controlled telescope. Right Ascension and Declination coordinates for each object are given on the Master List of Objects page.

The human mind is very good at trying to discern shapes and meanings out of background noise. This was a survival skill for our ancient ancestors who lived out in the bush with animals that were looking to make a meal of them. If a person could pick out a deadly snake in a tree, or a tiger in the jungle, he would be more likely to survive. If he survived, he passed along this skill and it got better and better over subsequent generations.

When we look up in the sky, it is easy and natural to group together stars that are bright or relatively near each other into patterns. It is then an easy leap to imagine that a pattern such as the stars in Scorpius represents an animal such as a scorpion.

Constellations are arbitrary groupings of stars that go back thousands of years. These groupings can also vary from culture to culture. Today 88 constellations have been officially named and their boundaries set by the International Astronomical Union (IAU).

The fanciful shapes of the objects, animals, and mythological creatures represented by these constellations, however, are not standardized or official. This is why different star charts and planetarium computer programs may show constellation figures, such as Gemini, completely differently. Indeed, you can make up your own constellation figures if you want, and while no one may pay much attention to them, no one can tell you that they are "wrong" either.

Constellations Master Objects List  |  Search  |  TOC Back  |  Up  |  Next