The Game of Stargazing and the Night Sky. In Constellations, players compete to populate the night sky with real constellations. The game involves drawing star cards, which represent the seven real types of stars in the Universe. Each constellation requires a unique combination of stars to play on the board. As the game progresses and the night sky fills up, players must use their puzzle skills to fit the last few constellations on the board. The player with the most constellation points at the end of the game wins! The game also includes an educational workbook about stellar evolution and the history and mythology of the real constellations. Ages 8+, 2-4 players, 30 – 60 minutes.
A constellation is formally defined as a region of the celestial sphere, with boundaries laid down by the International Astronomical Union (IAU). The constellation areas mostly had their origins in Western-traditional patterns of stars from which the constellations take their names.
In 1922 the International Astronomical Union officially recognized the 88 modern constellations, covering the entire sky. They began as the 48 classical Greek constellations laid down by Ptolemy in the Almagest. Constellations in the far southern sky are late 16th- and mid 18th-century constructions. 12 of the 88 constellations compose the zodiac signs, though the astronomical positions of the constellations only loosely match the dates assigned to them in astrology.
The term constellation can also refer to the stars within the boundaries of that constellation. Notable groupings of stars that do not form a constellation are called asterisms. When astronomers say something is “in” a given constellation they mean it is within those official boundaries.
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