What Constellations Are Visible?

Written by melissa sherrard
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What Constellations Are Visible?
Constellations are groups of stars and other celestial bodies that form recognisable shapes in the night sky. (zodiac constellation - Taurus image by Stasys Eidiejus from Fotolia.com)

Before GPS and other modern navigation technologies, travellers looked to the stars and familiar constellations to guide their movements across land or water. Depending on where you are in the world, different constellations are visible at certain times of the year. Listed here are the constellations visible in the night sky of the Northern Hemisphere during different times if the year.

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The most famous constellations to be viewed in the Northern Hemisphere's spring night sky include Cancer (also known as the Crab), Centaurus (which honours the centaur leader of lore Chiron), Hydra, Leo and Virgo. Antlia, Canes Venatici, Coma Berinices Corvus and Crater can also be seen during springtime in the Northern Hemisphere. Other constellations easily seen during this time of year include Leo Minor, Lupus, Lynx and Pyxis and Sextans.


Summer skies in the Northern Hemisphere allow for the viewing of famous constellations Capricornus, Hercules, Libra, Scorpius and Sagittarius. Aquila, Ara, Cygnus, Delphinius and Indus can be seen during summer in the Northern Hemisphere, as can Delphinus, Equuleus, Microscopium, Ophiuchus, Scutum, Serpens, Sagitta, Vulpecula and Coronas Australis and Borealis.


The Northern Hemisphere's autumn sky is filled with famous constellations such as Andromeda, also known as the Chained Lady, Aquarius the "Water Bearer," Aries, Pegasus and Pieces. Other constellations that are visible in the Northern Hemisphere during this time of year include Cetus, Grus, Lacerta Perseus and Phoenix, as well as The Sculptor and Triangulum.


The winter sky of the Northern Hemisphere is home to three of the most famous constellations: Orion the Hunter, Gemini (The Twins) and Taurus the Bull. Other constellations that can be readily seen in the Northern Hemisphere during winter include Auriga, Caelum, Crina, Columbo and Canis Major and Minor. Eradinus, Fornax, Lepus, Pictor, Puppis and Vela can also be seen.

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