SkySafari 5 | Constellations



    The settings in this view let you control the display of constellations - the mythical figures associated with the stars that have been formalized in modern times to define precisely-bounded areas of the sky. These settings can also display asterisms, which are star patterns that are commonly known, but not formally recognized as constellations.

    Constellation Display

    Show Constellations: Sets whether constellations are displayed in the sky chart. When turned off, most of the settings in this section are disabled. When turned on, multiple constellation display options can be selected below. For example, you can display traditional constellation lines overlaid with mythical figures, or modern constellation lines and IAU boundaries at the same time.

    as Traditional Lines: Displays constellations as stick-figures, using traditional line patterns, connecting the brighter stars in each constellation.

    as Modern Lines: Displays constellations as more complex stick figures, using modern patterns based on H.A. Rey's 1952 book, "The Stars: A New Way to See Them". These complex lines are more suggestive of the constellations' mythology.

    as Mythical Figures: Displays constellations as the images of the mythological figures associated with these star patterns. SkySafari only shows constellation images near the central part of the sky chart; other constellation images will fade in and out of view as you pan around the chart. Constellation images are used with permission from Kosmic Kreations, Original constellation artwork was created by Johan Meuris and released under the Free Art License.

    as IAU Boundaries: Displays constellation boundaries in the sky chart. The constellations' official boundaries were formalized by the International Astronomical Union in 1930, using the precession epoch of 1875. Note the constellation boundaries are offset from the lines of Right Ascension and Declination in today's equatorial coordinate system, especially near the celestial poles. The offset results from the fact that precession has rotated the sky by nearly 2 degrees since 1875!

    Show Zodiac Only: If this switch is turned on, SkySafari only shows the twelve constellations of the Zodiac - the constellations that the Sun appears to pass through as the Earth orbits around it each year. If this switch is turned off, SkySafari shows all constellations.

    Intensity: Displays a slider which lets you control the brightness of the constellation lines and labels. Use this to adjust the visibility of the constellations, versus the stars which make them up.

    Tap to Select: Sets whether constellations can be selected by tapping the area inside the constellation's boundaries on the sky chart with your finger. When turned off, constellations cannot be selected by tapping - only planets, stars, and deep sky objects.

    Constellation Names

    Show Names: Sets whether the sky chart displays the names of the constellations.

    Use Abbreviations: Sets whether the sky chart displays constellations names using their official IAU abbreviations (e.g. "CMa") or their fully-spelled-out Latin names (e.g. "Canis Major").

    Asterism Display

    Show Asterisms: When turned on, asterism outlines are displayed in the sky chart. Asterisms are commonly-known star patterns that are not formally recognized as constellations, or that span multiple constellations. Examples include the Big Dipper, in the constellation Ursa Major; and the Summer Triangle, which contains the brightest stars in the constellations Lyra, Cygnus, and Aquila.

    Show Names: When turned on, asterism names are displayed in the sky chart. You can display asterism names independently of asterism outlines.