Can You Name the Constellations From a Hint?

SCIENCE

Heather Cahill

6 Min Quiz

Image: sololos/E+/Getty Images

About This Quiz

Every night, our sky is covered in the darkness where tiny specks of light illuminate. Of course, we know that these rays of light are stars. Ptolemy was an incredible astronomer of the ancient world who studied the stars vigorously. It is thanks to him that we know much about our constellations and other objects within the sky. A pioneer of astronomy, he is someone many astronomers look up to. But you don't have to be an astronomer to look into the night sky.

Backyard astronomers are fascinated by the stars and the sky. Studying the constellations is something that they very much enjoy. If you consider yourself as one, then you've probably spent a good amount of time gazing at them and maybe even a little more time searching for them. The more time you spend looking at them, the better you know them! On this quiz, it's a little more important to know a thing or two about the constellations.

Now is your chance to find out how well you really know the night sky and the many constellations that inhabit it. If you think you could compete with the knowledge of Ptolemy, then take the quiz to prove it!

This constellation is stellar, because it takes up more area than any other constellation! Do you know which of the following it is?

If you're looking for Hydra, look no further than in the southern hemisphere. When you find it, you'll notice that it closely resembles a snake. This is because it is one, which you can find deep inside Greek mythology.

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If you know Betelgeuse, then you already know part of this constellation. Can you name it?

Betelgeuse is one of the brightest stars in the Orion constellation. Unfortunately, the star's life is almost over. This means that the iconic star has less than 100,000 years left, so in our terms, we'd probably think that it has plenty of time.

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You can easily identify this constellation from its cross formation, but do you know what its name is?

This tiny constellation is the smallest in the night sky and is shaped like a cross. While the constellation itself is known as Crux, did you know that its brightest star has a similar name, known as Acrux?

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This constellation is a long series of stars totaling 31 main stars. The name of this elongated constellation is what?

Eridanus is an incredibly long constellation that stretches across the night sky. The top of the constellation starts at Orion and the tail end of it finishes at Horologium. It is said to represent a river, but the name also means the same thing.

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Seven stars make up this smaller version of another constellation. What is it?

If there's one star you might recognize in this beautiful constellation, it's Polaris. This star often goes by the nickname the "North Star" for its position in the sky. Despite being smaller than its counterpart, Ursa Minor isn't one of the smallest in the night sky.

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Look at this constellation at the right time, and you'll see a beautiful meteor shower around the four main stars. Can you name it?

The Draconids is something that everyone should witness at least once in their life! The Draco constellation is representative of a dragon, where the Draconid meteor shower takes place where the head is in the night sky.

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If you're born in mid-October and mid-November, then you're probably familiar with this constellation that corresponds with your Zodiac sign. Do you know which one it is?

Scorpius is in the shape of a scorpion that graces the night sky. The scorpion played a big part in Greek mythology, being placed in the sky as Scorpius and in close proximity to Orion, which the scorpion was meant to kill.

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One of the smallest constellations, it is a total of four stars. What constellation is it?

The constellation of Circinus is in the southern hemisphere and is in a prime location in the galaxy. You can get a glimpse of the Circinus Galaxy through this constellation as well as a view of a beautiful meteor shower in June.

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The Stingray Nebula makes an appearance in this constellation of what name?

Ara is made up of 8 stars, with the brightest of the bunch being Beta Arae. Many of the stars within this constellation take on the name "Arae" with a Greek letter name ahead of them. If you blink, you might miss it, it's relatively small and a little less bright than other constellations.

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You could say that the founder of this horse like constellation is Ptolemy. Which constellation is it?

We all know Pegasus as Hercules' loyal steed, but it's also a beautiful constellation. The main part of the constellation is in a square formation, which has two branches of other stars off the corners.

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A large and complicated constellation, it was added to the 12 original Zodiac constellations. What is it?

In Greek mythology, this constellation was a human in control of snakes which were mostly used for healing. This constellation's addition to the Zodiac became controversial as it changed the sign of many.

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There's no brighter star in this constellation than Vega, but what is its name?

Lyra is a constellation that anyone in both the northern and southern hemispheres can enjoy. If you're looking for the bright star, Vega, then you'll want to look at the top right of the constellation. It's thought that the star is orbited by a planet as well.

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It's one-third of the Summer Triangle, but what is its name?

When thinking about this constellation, you might think about the movie "The Black Swan." Cygnus is known to represent a swan. The Summer Triangle is made up of the stars Altair, Vega and the star Deneb from Cygnus.

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This constellation represents a great sea monster, but can you name it?

Cetus is a vast constellation that stretches far across the night sky. There's a Messier object hidden inside the constellation as well. Did you know that there's a Navy ship that is named after the group of stars?

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If you know the Big Dipper, then you already know something about this one. What constellation is it?

Ursa Major is an important one in the northern hemisphere. When you think of this constellation, a bear probably comes to mind. Did you know that depending on the culture, there are many different objects that the constellation depicts?

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Sirius is one of the most famous stars in this constellation. Which of the following is it?

Canis Major has many ties with dogs, with its name meaning "greater dog" with Sirius, the dog star, being part of it. Sirius is the brightest star in our sky, making this constellation a little easier to get your eyes on.

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This Zodiac constellation is the second largest in the sky. Do you know which of the following it is?

If you have a chance to witness the beautiful constellation of Virgo, then you'll probably notice that it has one beaming, bright star. This star is known as Spica and is also known for being one of the brightest out of all of the stars that we can see.

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Arcturus and Nekkar are two important stars in this constellation of what name?

Bootes is a large constellation that was pictured to be a plow, but many other pictures have come out of the constellation as well. Arcturus is among some of the brightest stars in the sky and makes spotting this constellation that much easier.

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The picture behind this is a mythical creature like no other: a sea goat. What is the name of the constellation?

While it might look a little more like a triangle, the shape of the constellation is much more than that. The horns of the goat lie on the path extending out from the triangle, while the rest of the body fits inside.

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Flying high in the sky, you'll find this dove in the form of a constellation known as what?

The star that will stand out the most in this constellation is Alpha Columbae due to its brightness. Despite the clusters of stars that are present, you'll also find some interesting galaxies around the star as well. For example, the NGC 1792, which is a spiral galaxy similar to our Milky Way.

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This constellation is being hunted by another. What is it?

Look closely at Lepus in the night sky and you'll see the constellation of Orion close behind. It will be hard for Orion to catch Lepus in the sky! A medium-sized constellation, you can find it in the northern hemisphere.

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A mythical creature known as the centaur is behind the constellation of what name?

In ancient times, the constellation was divided between being depicted as a bull or a centaur. The Omega Centuri cluster is located in this constellation and it is an incredible sight to see. Did you know that there's also a black hole in it?

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The easiest way to find this constellation is to look directly in the middle of the Summer Triangle. Which constellation is it?

There's a fox in the sky, and it is shaped by the constellation of Vulpecula. The Dumbbell Nebula is located within the constellation, which is a wondrous sight to see. This nebula is unique in that it was the first discovered planetary nebula!

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Shaped like a horseshoe, this constellation in the north is known as what?

Representing a princess, this constellation is known as the "northern crown." In fact, this crown represents one that was worn by the princess during her marriage. She has deep roots in Greek mythology, where she was an important figure.

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Galloping through the sky, there is a baby horse named Celeris. What is the name of Celeris' constellation?

The formation of the Equuleus constellation comes again from Greek mythology. Celeris the foal had famous family in mythology and in the sky, as the little horse was related to the famous Pegasus.

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This is the constellation of an eagle, but what is its name?

Yet another of the many Greek mythological constellations, Aquila is related to the story of Zeus, where the eagle served as a messenger. The eagle was powerful enough to carry the thunderbolts produced by the Greek god.

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The name of this constellation translates to "wolf." Which of the following is the correct name of this constellation?

The constellation of Lupus is known for many things. One unique thing you can find in this constellation is the incredible Retina Nebula. It was also known by many names, for example, it was called "Beastia" by the Romans.

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Here is another constellation in the shape of a horse, but with a bit of a twist. Which of the following is its name?

There's a real unicorn in the sky, and it's in the form of the Monoceros constellation. Look in between Canis Major and Canis Minor and you'll find the unique constellation. The Rosette Nebula is also visible and adds to its beauty.

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You'll find this constellation under Hydra, but do you know what it's called?

This constellation's name is a little less interesting than the others, as all it means is "pump." But it's no less beautiful than the 87 other constellations that light up the sky. The three main stars in the constellation form a tent-like shape.

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It will guide you to where you need to be. What is the name of this helpful constellation?

Representing a compass, Pyxis is a small constellation that can be a bit of a challenge to find. This is because it's duller than the other constellations in the sky and doesn't stand out as much. If you have a good eye and are located in the southern hemisphere, then you just might get a glimpse at this awesome group of stars.

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The Small Magellanic Cloud makes an appearance in this constellation named what?

In keeping with having a similar name, Tucana actually means "toucan" in Latin. This constellation is also somewhat unique in that you won't find any meteor showers in it. If you look close enough, you can also spot the Tucana Dwarf Galaxy!

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Here's a constellation that puts the letter "W" into the sky. Its name is which of the following?

Right beside the constellation of Cassiopeia is the constellation of Cepheus. They have a connection in that in Greek mythology, the two were husband and wife. If you look below these two in the night sky, you'll find Andromeda, who was the daughter of the two.

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This constellation is known for its "roar." Can you name it?

As a Zodiac constellation, Leo earned its place in the sky through Hercules, who placed it there after killing it. It wasn't just Greek mythology that recognized this constellation as a lion, but many others such as Ancient Mesopotamia considered it to be the animal as well.

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A hero is the basis of this constellation that appears upside down if you're in the southern hemisphere. What is its name?

Totaling to 15 stars, Hercules is a large constellation that can be hard to miss if you're stargazing. If you look at all of the stars in the constellation, it almost looks like Hercules is jumping!

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Part of a much larger ship, this constellation serves as the stern. What is its name?

As Puppis is part of a few other constellations that all together form a ship, it's only fitting that there is a nebula known as the Skull and Crossbones nebula in this area. This ship comes from a story in Greek mythology, but did you know that there were really pirates back then?

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