Long time ago, when our ancestors looked up the sky on a clear night, they see many bright stars that were seems to be arranged in a certain patters and groups. These groups of stars never disarrange and remain the same with the passing of times. The arrangement of these stars is what we know today are constellations. The term constellation comes from a Latin word which literary means a “group of stars”.
Every ancient civilization has given these constellations names. Some were derived after their gods and heroes while other civilizations named them after animals and other familiar things thatthey have in their surroundings.
Some of the ancient men had dedicated themselves in studying these constellations. They observed that these constellations seem to march in a great procession across the night sky. They also observed that these constellations appeared on a seasonal manner that some would appear during spring and travelled across the sky and then disappeared as the season changed. And then other constellation will appear during summer, fall, and winters.
As a result of their studies and observations, they had noticed a total of 12 constellations. The 12 constellations were held within the part of the sky as the sun and moon rose. Ancient astronomers had given the 12 constellation a name – Zodiac. The term “zodiac” means “circle of living things” since our ancestors had given each one names that were derived from living things.
The ancient people divided the zodiac into twelveseparate sections to which they named each one from the twelve constellations. Today, we know these 12 constellations and zodiacs as follows:
- Taurus, the bull
- Aries, the ram
- Pisces, the fish
- Aquarius, the water carrier
- Capricorn, the goat
- Sagittarius, the archer
- Scorpio, the scorpion
- Libra, the scale
- Virgo, the virgin
- Leo, the lion
- Cancer, the crab
- Gemini, the twins
These twelve constellations are now called as the signs of the zodiac. Each constellation appears one after another one at a time for each month. They appeared on the eastern part of the sky while the sun and the moon seemed to rise in these constellations.
In addition, ancient people had also found 36 others constellations that were observable from the sky. Along with the 12 zodiacs, these 48 constellations are known today as the “ancient constellations”. And forwarding to our modern times today, modern day astronomers also discovered another 40 constellation which now becomes the “modern day constellations”.