There are 88 constellations in modern astronomy that were officially defined in 1922 by the International Astronomical Union (IAU). Most of the northern constellations in use today were based on those listed thousands of years ago by the ancient Babylonians and later the Greeks (Ptolemy). Of course, much of the southern sky remained unmapped until European explorers proposed new constellations for that region, as well as ones to fill gaps between traditional constellations. Inevitably, some proposed constellations didn't make the cut. These include Quadrans (which is now part of Boötes and Draco) and Argo Navis. The latter ancient constellation was so big that it was broken up into 4 smaller constellations, namely Carina, Puppis, Vela and Pyxis.

The Modern 88 Constellations

  1. Andromeda...............Andromeda Constellation Guide
  2. Antlia
  3. Apus
  4. Aquarius
  5. Aquila
  6. Ara
  7. Aries........................Aries Constellation Guide
  8. Auriga
  9. Boötes
  10. Caelum
  11. Camelopardalis
  12. Cancer
  13. Canes Venatici
  14. Canis Major
  15. Canis Minor
  16. Capricornus
  17. Carina
  18. Cassiopeia.................Cassiopeia Constellation Guide
  19. Centaurus
  20. Cepheus
  21. Cetus
  22. Chamaeleon
  23. Circinus
  24. Columba
  25. Coma Berenices
  26. Corona Austrina
  27. Corona Borealis
  28. Corvus
  29. Crater
  30. Crux..........................Crux Constellation Guide
  31. Cygnus
  32. Delphinus
  33. Dorado
  34. Draco
  35. Equuleus
  36. Eridanus
  37. Fornax
  38. Gemini.......................Gemini Constellation Guide
  39. Grus
  40. Hercules....................Hercules Constellation Guide
  41. Horologium
  42. Hydra
  43. Hydrus
  44. Indus
  45. Lacerta
  46. Leo
  47. Leo Minor
  48. Lepus
  49. Libra
  50. Lupus
  51. Lynx
  52. Lyra
  53. Mensa
  54. Microscopium
  55. Monoceros
  56. Musca
  57. Norma
  58. Octans
  59. Ophiuchus
  60. Orion........................Orion Constellation Guide
  61. Pavo
  62. Pegasus
  63. Perseus
  64. Phoenix
  65. Pictor
  66. Pisces
  67. Piscis Austrinus
  68. Puppis
  69. Pyxis
  70. Reticulum
  71. Sagitta
  72. Sagittarius
  73. Scorpius
  74. Sculptor
  75. Scutum
  76. Serpens
  77. Sextans
  78. Taurus
  79. Telescopium
  80. Triangulum
  81. Triangulum Australe
  82. Tucana
  83. Ursa Major...................Ursa Major Constellation Guide
  84. Ursa Minor...................Ursa Minor Constellation Guide
  85. Vela
  86. Virgo
  87. Volans
  88. Vulpecula....................Vulpecula Constellation Guide

Sky Highlights - February 2017

Comets
Comet Encke (2P/Encke) now visible in the western sky during evening twilight
Now is the last good chance to see comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdusakova before it dramatically fades

Conjunction
Mars passes less than 1 degree north of Uranus on February 27th

Minor Planet
Vesta now visible with binoculars and small telescopes.

The Planets
This Month's Guide

Algol Minima
Algol eclipse dates and times for February 2017

Northern Hemisphere
Evening
Southwest:- Venus (mag. -4.8), Mars (mag. +1.1 to +1.3), Uranus (mag. +5.9)
Midnight
East:- Jupiter (mag. -2.1 to -2.3)
Morning
South:- Jupiter
Southeast:- Saturn (mag. +0.6)

Southern Hemisphere
Evening
West:- Venus, Mars, Uranus
Midnight
East:- Jupiter
Morning
North:- Jupiter
East:- Saturn, Mercury (mag. -0.2 - first half of month)

Deep Sky
Naked eye / binoculars:-
Messier 45 - M45 - The Pleiades (Open Cluster)
The Hyades - Open Cluster
Messier 44 - M44 - The Praesepe (Open Cluster)
Messier 35 - M35 - Open Cluster
Messier 42 - M42 - The Great Orion Nebula (Emission/Reflection)

Small telescopes:-
Messier 36 - M36 - Open Cluster
Messier 37 - M37 - Open Cluster
Messier 38 - M38 - Open Cluster

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