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What star system constellation is our sun/solar system in?

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jsiddiqi

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I am curious about where our sun/planetary system fits into the universe. Is our sun a part of any known star system? By using astronomy software it appears we could be part of alpa centauri. Also is our sun a star in any known constellation? How would the earth appear to someone on venus or jupiter (I am thinking in terms of illumination/brightness)? Would our planet the earth be a morning or evening star if I were on Jupiter or Venus or any other planet? I am not an astronomer, but I can't to seem to find the answer to any of these questions. If anyone knows the answers to any or all, or could point me in the right direction to research this, I would appreciate it. Thanks.
 
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halcyondays

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What I know is that from Alpha Centauri the sun would appear in Cassiopeia, but otherwise the constellations would appear roughly as they do from the Earth. Further afield, of course, things would change.
 
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CalliArcale

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<b>I am curious about where our sun/planetary system fits into the universe.</b><br /><br />Excellent! Curiosity is a wonderful thing, and space is certainly a good place to indulge it. <img src="/images/icons/wink.gif" /><br /><br /><b>Is our sun a part of any known star system? By using astronomy software it appears we could be part of alpa centauri.</b><br /><br />There is no known gravitational connection between the Sun and Alpha Centauri, so no, it is not in the same star system as Alpha Centauri (which is also known as Rigil Kentaurus, incidentally). Our solar system, by all accounts, is a single-star system.<br /><br /><b>Also is our sun a star in any known constellation?</b><br /><br />No. The constellations are artificial constructs made up by astronomers through the millenia to map the sky so they could talk about it with one another. They consist only of the "fixed stars" (the stars that didn't seem to move obviously in the sky to an early astronomer, and which were too far away for the distance to be measured until the 19th Century). The Sun does seem to pass through various constellations over the course of the year (as a consequence of the Earth moving around it). The twelve constellations it passes through are called the Zodiac, and astrologers have for millenia made certain conclusions based on where the Sun and the planets are in the Zodiac.<br /><br /><b>How would the earth appear to someone on venus or jupiter (I am thinking in terms of illumination/brightness)?</b><br /><br />Earth should be pretty bright from Venus, especially if it is near opposition (Sun-Venus-Earth all lined up). But it won't be so bright from Jupiter, and will tend to be drowned out by the Sun a lot of the time. Jupiter is much farther away from Earth than Venus is.<br /><br />I'm not sure what apparent magnitude Earth will have, though. It is not as reflective as Venus, but when Venus and Earth are lined up on the same side of the Sun, Earth will be "full" , whereas from Earth, Ve <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p> </p><p><font color="#666699"><em>"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly . . . timey wimey . . . stuff."</em>  -- The Tenth Doctor, "Blink"</font></p> </div>
 
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harmonicaman

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Great replies, but I think you're trying to identify your "Place" in the universe. Heres a paragraph about our "Place" within the Milky Way Galaxy:<br /><br /><i>"Our solar system is thus situated within the outer regions of this galaxy, well within the disk and only about 20 light years "above" the equatorial symmetry plane (to the direction of the Galactic North Pole, see below), but about 28,000 light years from the Galactic Center. Therefore, the Milky Way shows up as luminous band spanning all around the sky along this symmetry plane, which is also called the "Galactic Equator". <br /><br />Its center lies in the direction of the constellation Sagittarius, but very close to the border of both neighbor constellations Scorpius and Ophiuchus. The distance of 28,000 light years has recently (1997) been confirmed by the data of ESA's astrometric satellite Hipparcos."</i> <br /><br />More here:<br /><br />http://www.seds.org/messier/more/mw.html<br />
 
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mikeemmert

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Replying to:<br /><br />". Is our sun a part of any known star system? By using astronomy software it appears we could be part of alpa centauri. Also is our sun a star in any known constellation?" by jsiddiqi<br /><br />Well... CalleArcale is right that the Sun is not part of any known star grouping or constellation. But as a matter of fact, the Sun _is_ embedded in a constelllation - The Big Dipper, one of the best known ones:<br /><br />http://search.yahoo.com/search?ei=utf-8&fr=slv1-msgr&p=Ursa+Major+moving+cluster<br /><br />Briefly, the Ursa Major moving group was a star cluster that broke up relatively recently and is moving about 14 km per second faster than the Sun towards the Galactic center, about 3 km/sec faster in it's orbit around the Galactic center, and about a kilometer per second into the plane of the Galaxy. The Big Dipper is a remnant of the original cluster, but the moving group is spread out all over the sky; we are embedded in it (but are not part of it). All members share approximately the same motion.<br /><br />Read the link, it's very enjoyable.
 
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