The constellations that we recognize today as “official” have come from a wide variety of sources. From star patterns invented by farmers over 6000 years ago to ones created by sailors and astronomers just hundreds of years ago, the constellations we recognize today say much about the time and people who invented them. Below are linked constellation lists for a variety of constellation types and groupings.
The Official Constellation List.
There have been many more constellations than we officially recognize today. Many cultures, like the Chinese, have had their own set of constellations and many celestial cartographers have created their own while creating their star maps. As telescopes were constructed and astronomers could see dimmer and dimmer stars, deciding on the stars name became more confusing because sometimes the same groups of stars belonged to different constellations. To make matters worse, there were no official boundaries that marked where one constellation ended and another began.
To help alleviate the confusion, in 1928 the International Astronomical Union (IAU) ratified a list of 88 official constellations pulled from many sources, including 48 ancient constellations and constellations and ones created by Petrus Plancius, Frederick de Houtman, Johannes Hevelius and Nicolas Louis de La Calle.
The Ancient Constellations List
The Plancius Constellations List
The Keyser/de Houtman Constellations List
The Hevelius Constellations List
The La Caille Constellations List