Figures In The Stars
July 25, 2018 10:34 PM   Subscribe

this is so awesome thanks for posting!
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 10:56 PM on July 25, 2018 [1 favorite]

So. Cool.
Something I’ve wondered about but didn’t see a way to wonder about productively that didn’t involve a lot of tedious wikipediaing, but it turns out I procrastinated long enough that the answers fell into my lap!
posted by Grandysaur at 11:04 PM on July 25, 2018 [7 favorites]

This is outstanding. Just this past spring I was telling a friend how I wish I had a catalog of the constellations used by different people because I thought that'd be useful to show just how many cultures there are on Earth.
posted by ob1quixote at 11:08 PM on July 25, 2018

You might see a different section of it depending on your exact location

...only part about moving One Self - I can agree...Look Above!...for me... "Tonight's Sky in Houston, Jul 25 – Jul 26, 2018 (7 planets visible)"...Thanks for sharing!
posted by thomcatspike at 11:46 PM on July 25, 2018

posted by thomcatspike at 11:50 PM on July 25, 2018

I was recently having a minor disagreement with someone whether constellations were discovered or invented, and I feel like this supports my case, handily. Now I just need to remember who it was I was talking about this with, so I can send them this link along with some insufferable commentary.
posted by aubilenon at 12:39 AM on July 26, 2018 [6 favorites]

This is so cool! Thanks for posting.
posted by curious nu at 5:21 AM on July 26, 2018

I'd love to see what machine learning would do with generating and naming constellations.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:39 AM on July 26, 2018 [1 favorite]

Very cool with great visualizations, especially illuminating is comparing the full-sky views across "sky cultures" via the last section. I'm naturally wondering, however, if the Siberian and Mongolian constellation sets (only 3 and 4 constellations, respectively, defined in the entire sky) are complete, especially after seeing the flip side - the Chinese with 318 and Korean with 272. Note:The hover note about Mongolia notes that they were influenced by the Chinese (then why not more?), and for Siberian is does say "a few that are typical for the whole of Siberia.
posted by achrise at 6:48 AM on July 26, 2018

I'd also like a blank star chart where I can define my own constellations.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:56 AM on July 26, 2018

My jaw dropped when I saw this yesterday. It's beautiful. Not just the idea, but the data collection. And of course the implementation. The rendering is all being done in your browser with Javascript code, it's not static images. I feel like there's a week's worth of work just in getting the lines of multiple cultures' constellations to draw next to each other rather than on top of each other.

Be sure to look at the whole-sky chart for the Tupi. There's a critter there that spans like 30 degrees of the sky.

I'm curious about the Romanian constellations. Are there a bunch of known European skymaps that predate the consensus born out of Arabic astronomy and the Enlightenment?
posted by Nelson at 7:48 AM on July 26, 2018 [2 favorites]

I'd also like a blank star chart where I can define my own constellations.

You can get fancy and pick a view of the sky on a given night from a given city, or vague and look at the entire sky [stars scaled for distance], flattened for ease of seeing it all, or see the same thing with "modern" constellations drawn for context [stars scaled for brightness]. The latter two are from the Astronomical Files from Black Oak Observatory, which has a lot more information, guides, and even presentation on building your own observatory.

There was an episode of Antiques Roadshow (I think) where someone brought in a RAF WWII era sky map, but the constellations were all drawings of women. You know, for the lads. But I haven't been able to find any copies of the charts online.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:03 AM on July 26, 2018 [2 favorites]

Proposed: Snake Large Anus shall replace "Big Dipper" in all discussions of constellations from now on.

(See the section about Dubhe).
posted by gregglind at 9:45 AM on July 26, 2018

There's a critter there that spans like 30 degrees of the sky.

I think that's two critters one of which happens to have its head up the butt of the other -- or share a star or two if you prefer.
posted by The Bellman at 10:26 AM on July 26, 2018 [1 favorite]

The sky mapping program Stellarium has quite a few built in "starlore" libraries. It's kind of fun to see the different constellations people have. And it's free software! On counting, my copy has 26 different lores. But yeah the Siberian and Mongolian are pretty sparsely-known there too.
posted by traveler_ at 7:14 PM on July 26, 2018

This is relevant to my interests!
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:48 AM on July 31, 2018

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