Question Do you think constellations have some scientific significance or maybe they mean something?

The Constellations are easy to remember arrangements of stars which can and were used for sea and land navigation on Earth. The American Antebellum song "Follow the Drinking Gourd" was the escaped slaves' guide to travel to the North. Take a look "Our Night Sky" by Edward M. Murphy via The Great Courses or possibly at your local library. This course has the stories of the Constellation names and how these asterism were used in ancient times.


"Science begets knowledge, opinion ignorance.
Do you think constellations have some scientific significance or maybe they mean something?

Scientific significance - no. As Sam85geo pointed out, they have been useful in navigation.

Meaning - no. As I pointed out they are line of sight coincidences. This takes away the possibility of any astrological or astro-other significance.

Cat :)
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Jul 27, 2021
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Constellations are also one of the eye-mind phenomena (like the Moon face). Scientifically it is in psychiatric field.
In my opinion, it is worth to be counted in kids' education.

P.S. Still Orion attracts my thoughts to season change, when attracts the eye.
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Oct 24, 2019
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Pareidolia or otherwise a cultural belief system only. Yet in a field of randomly spaced dots, the base meaning of a set of points connected in a symbol design is 0, yet the symbols we ourselves assign to ideas we decide are the only meanings. If you look at ancient and indigenous cultures around the world the star-form symbols change. Relevance is subjective and interpretive only.
I mean like everything in the universe has a place in it, a purpose. So what could be the purpose of a constellation?

No. No. "Everything in the universe has a place in it" is wrong. The universe just is. Prove it. It is a nonsensical, null statement. Everything?? Every single atom and subatomic particle?? Everything the size of a dust mote?? A place? Do you mean a physical place with 3 space and one time coordinate? It's just the same tired, misguided "philosophy" that has been regurgitated by "philosophers" down through the centuries to make themselves look profound. Sloppy semantics and logic pretending to be profound. And the constellations are not purposeful, they come from ancients sitting around a campfire with nothing else to do but imagine they see patterns in the stars that kind of outline simple objects they are familiar with.
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"Science begets knowledge, opinion ignorance.
As I have pointed out, constellations are entirely as we see them from "here". That is, "line of sight". Stars are not IN constellations in any meaningful way. Take any asterism (pattern of stars, including any group of stars not called a constellation. For example, the Plough is an asterism, but not a constellation. From Earth they appear to make a pattern, but in fact the individual stars are all completely different distances from us. From anywhere else in the galaxy (or Universe, even) they do not make this pattern. We could be between any two stars, so, as seen from here, they would be about 180 degrees apart, instead of approximately 0 degrees apart, which they would be if they were in conjunction.

Draw 4 dots in the form of a square and label them A B C D.

If you are far away at X, X

you will see D(C) and B(A), that is D directly in front of C, and B directly in front of A. And that is the simple case of all ABCD being the same distance from when you first see them "as a square".

Now consider

From X they will appear the same, D directly in front of C, and B directly in front of A

Now go back to the square, but imagine (though still appearing to be a square) that each, A, B, C, D, are all different distances from you. Obviously, the "square" (as was) will now appear different from every other (X) location you choose. ABCD will no longer remain a square. There will be no constellation, or any other asterism.

A, B, C, and D will mostly be completely disconnected and, in fact, making asterisms with completely different stars. Thus, constellations are completely random alignments and completely without any real connections.

Thus, constellations only appear to have any shape (asterism) from a specific location. Thus, exempli gratia, Taurus is only imagined to have any connection with a bull, by virtue of imaginary twisting some stars into some imaginary pattern which, purely in our imaginations, we think has some imaginary connection with an animal which is almost uncertainly unknown in most locations in the galaxy. Other galaxies are too far away to see star patterns in them from here. All stars in any other galaxy will, in fact, appear to be in conjunction.

Cat :)
The 88 constellations are used as a convenience to locate objects. Venus is in Libra, for example rather than referring to the Right Ascension and Declination, which most folks have no idea what they are.
Sort of akin to saying that someone lives in Manchester rather than saying he or she lives at 2°14’43”W, 53°28’46”N. Much easier concept.
Note that the 88 constellations are used for convenience of locating objects. Many were derived by the Greek and Roman, and even older cultures. Some constellations were added by later cultures. Many other ancient cultures had completely different constellations. Yep, it’s totally a human derived concept.


"Science begets knowledge, opinion ignorance.
Just some 'top up' information:

Any of the 88 areas into which the celestial sphere is divided for the purposes of identifying objects, as adopted by the IAU in 1922 . . . . . . In 1930 the IAU went on to adopt official constellation boundaries, defined by lines of right ascension and declination . . . . . .

It is interesting to note:

Scorpius . . . . . . The Sun passes through Scorpius for a week at the end of November

My emphasis. This prompts the question to astrologers "When is a Scorpio not a Scorpio?

Source (both) Oxford Dictionary of Astronomy, OUP.

Cat :)
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In its apparent path along the ecliptic throughout the year, the Sun passes through13 of the areas mapped as constellations. It passes through Ophiuchus briefly, but it’s not counted. The astrologers also ‘smoothed out’ the constellations so each gets equal time for the Sun. And there is no Scorpio, it’s Scorpius.
In addition, because of precession of the Earth’s rotational axis, the vernal equinox has moved so that all the Zodiac borders are a couple weeks off of their correct times. Astrologers say that I was born on the cusp of Scorpio, but I believe I am a middle Sag.
These locations were derived a couple thousand years ago, but have never been updated.
Apparently people are different since the discovery of Pluto than they were pre-Pluto. I wonder what the differences are between planet Pluto and dwarf planet Pluto.


"Science begets knowledge, opinion ignorance.
Pogo, are you aware of this:

Scorpio (astrology) - Wikipedia

Wikipedia › wiki › Scorpio_(astrology)

Scorpio (♏︎) is the eighth astrological sign in the zodiac, originating from the constellation of Scorpius. It spans 210–240° ecliptic longitude.
Zodiac element: Water
Zodiac quality: Fixed
Duration (tropical, western): October 23 – Nov...
Zodiac symbol: Scorpion

The Encyclopaedia Britannica allows both (my emphasis):

Science & Tech


constellation and astrological sign
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Also known as: Scorpio
Written and fact-checked by

The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica
Last Updated: Jul 3, 2023 • Article History

Here is another interesting fact, on the matter of boundaries:

Serpens is a highly unusual constellation because it is split into two parts, separated by the constellation Ophiuchus, the Serpent Bearer. The two halves of the constellation are referred to a Serpens Caput, or the Serpent's Head, and Serpens Cauda, or the Serpent's Tail.

Cat :)
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Yes, that was my point. The constellation is Scorpius, here in the U.S., astrologers use the sign Scorpio, not the same. And the fact that the Sun and other bodies’ positions are based upon some 2000 years old data, not the actual locations of today. Thanks for the link.