Most Famous and Major Constellations of Stars

Major Constellations

A constellation is a part of the celestial space that forms some patterns like an animal, object, creature, or any mythological person. The general meaning of constellation is, it is a certain region in the celestial sphere that visually represents some specific symbol made of stars. The word “constellation” meaning is “group of stars”.

Before accepting the modern constellation, different cultures/countries had adopted different constellations. There were many different ancient constellations. Each constellation had a different meaning and symbol to exist. Usually, ancient people look at the sky and connect the set of stars with some imaginary symbol or lines. Claudius Ptolemy has mentioned about 48 ancient constellations in his treatise Almagest. And there were many other constellations accepted by different civilizations. But now International Astronomical Union (IAU) has accepted only a few specific constellations. According to IAU, there are 88 constellations. These constellations show some patterns like animals or object shapes. And in those 88, there are twelve zodiac constellations that are mostly used in astrology. Below are the images of few zodiac representing particular constellation meanings. 

Virgo Constellationvirgo constellation

Leo Constellationleo constellation

Scorpius Constellationscorpion constellation

Though there are 88 constellations IAU has recognized but here in this article, we will know only about the most famous and major constellations

In these 88 modern constellations, 12 are the zodiac constellations. The zodiac constellations are used in modern astrology and twelve signs of each. These twelve signs of the zodiac are related to horoscope astrology. The zodiac signs represent the path and position of the sun, moon, planets, and other stars. 

Major Constellations

As we read above, there are 88 modern constellations that have been recognized by IAU since 1992. They represent some symbol or pattern. In these 88 constellations, 42 represent animals, 29 represent inanimate objects, and 17 represent humans or mythological characters.

Here in this article, we have mentioned about 20 largest constellations and 12 zodiac constellations. 

20 Largest Constellations

Below are the 20 largest constellations with their names, size, and meanings. The constellations-meaning represent which pattern or symbol the set of stars form. Whereas the constellation size represents an area in the form of square degrees. 

Constellation Names Meaning (pattern) Size (area in square degrees)
1. Hydra A water monster (mythological creature) 1302.84
2. Virgo Virgin or maiden (girl) 1294.43
3. Ursa Major Great bear 1279.66
4. Cetus Sea monster 1231.41
5. Hercules Hercules (a hero – mythological character) 1225.15
6. Eridanus river Eridanus 1137.92
7. Pegasus Pegasus (a mythological winged horse) 1120.79
8. Draco Dragon 1082.95
9. Centaurus centaur (a mythological character – mixed horse and human body) 1060.42
10. Aquarius Water bearer 979.85
11. Ophiuchus Serpent-bearer 948.34
12. Leo Lion 946.96
13. Bootes Herdsman 906.83
14. Pisces Fishes 889.42
15. Sagittarius Archer 867.43
16. Cygnus Swan 803.98
17. Taurus Bull 797.23
18. Camelopardalis Giraffe 756.83
19. Andromeda Andromeda (The chained maiden or princess) 722.28
20. Puppis Poop deck 673.43

So, these were the 20 largest constellations list with size and sign mentioned about them. Some of above are related to Zodiac constellations of stars. 

12 Zodiac Constellations

These zodiac are very famous constellations. They are mainly used in the astrology horoscope. The zodiac constellations represents some sign of stars and planes crossing their path in particular degrees (just astrology things). 

Zodiac Constellations - Sign and Meaning

12 Zodiac Constellations

Zodiac Constellations Meaning (pattern) Size (area in square degrees)
1. Virgo Virgin or maiden (girl) 1294.43
2. Aquarius Water-bearer 979.85
3. Leo Lion 946.96
4. Pisces Fishes 889.42
5. Sagittarius Archer 867.43
6. Taurus Bull 797.25
7. Libra Balance 538.05
8. Gemini Twins 513.76
9. Cancer Crab 505.87
10. Scorpius Scorpion 496.78
11. Aries Ram (animal) 441.39
12. Capricornus Sea goat 413.95

So, these were the list of zodiac constellations with thier meanings (sign) and size. These 12 are very famous constellations and mostly used by astrologer.

Also Read:-

How big are stars? Compare to Sun and Earth

Life Cycle of all the different Types of Stars