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Asterisms are sub- or supersets of constellations which build a constellation itself, or a group of stars, physically related or not. Best known is the Big Dipper as a part of the Great Bear. But there are more than just this one.

The "Markov 1" Asterism in Hercules
By Paul Markov
Update - July 2003: The "Markov 1" asterism (pictured below) is included in the book "Star Clusters" by Archinal and Hynes on page 145.

Browse: Home / Constellation List / Sagittarius Constellation / The Teapot asterism in Sagittarius
The Teapot asterism in Sagittarius
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asterism - a prominent pattern or group of stars, typically having a popular name but smaller than (and not officially recognized as) a constellation; an example of an asterism is the Pleiades (M45) in Taurus ...

A group of stars that people informally associate with each other to make a simple pattern, such as the Big Dipper and Square of Pegasus. The stars in an asterism can come from one or more official constellations.

Asterism - A group of stars that appear to make a recognizable shape, such as the Big Dipper.
Asteroid - A large rocky object, also called a minor planet or planetoid. Most asteroids orbit the Sun in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

A pattern formed by a collection of stars within a constellation.

A large piece of rock, generally between 100 metres and several hundred kilometres across. Also known as a minor planet.

Named group for stars not identified as constellations
Asteroids ...

Asterism. A pattern of stars larger than a cluster but smaller than a constellation. Examples of an asterism would be Orion's Belt, or The Hyades in Taurus.

Asterism, star gems such as star sapphire or star ruby.
Aura, a phenomenon in which gas or dust surrounding an object luminesces or reflects light from the object.

asterism: any prominent star pattern that isn't a whole constellation (such as the Big Dipper).
astronomical unit: the average distance from Earth to the Sun, slightly less than 93 million miles.

Planetary nebula
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Asterism M73. NOAO/
AURA/NSF [larger image]
to see, but the forth (magnitude 12) is difficult, even when using averted vision.
+ The Sky This Month + Sky Highlights ...

Asterism (typography)
In typography, an asterism is a rarely used symbol consisting of three asterisks placed in a triangle . It is used to call attention to a passage or to separate subchapters in a book....
Linguistics ...

asterism ((astronomy) a cluster of stars (or a small constellation))
celestial longitude; RA; right ascension ((astronomy) the equatorial coordinate specifying the angle, measured eastward along the celestial equator, ...

An especially noticeable star pattern in the sky, such as the Big Dipper.
asteroid ...

An asterism is a collection of stars (within a constellation) that forms an apparent pattern from Earth. Some familiar asterisms include the Big Dipper, the Little Dipper, Pleiades, Trapezium, and the Summer Triangle.

An asterism is a recognizable group of stars within a constellation, or which may comprise stars of more than one constellation. The Big Dipper is an example. It's made of a subset of stars of the constellation Ursa Major.

The asterism of a gigantic skewed "S" was seen in many ancient cultures as a scorpion, possibly handed down by cultural conquest or influence.

10: An asterism is a pattern of stars that are widely recognized and contained within an official constellation but is not counted as a true constellation in itself.

There are also asterisms, smaller apparent star patterns within a constellation, like the Big Dipper (in Ursa Major), the Little Dipper (in Ursa Minor), Keystone (in Hercules), and the Pleiades (in Taurus).
The 88 Constellations: ...

asterism The configuration of stars or "catch figure" used to identify a constellation. Example: the Big Dipper is the asterism for Ursa Major.

This Y-shaped asterism in Aquarius was noticed by Messier on Oct. 4, 1780. It is located 120' E of M72 (see finder chart below). Four members of the group are 10.5 mag., 10.5 mag., 11.0 mag. and 12.0 mag. ...

An "unofficial" constellation is also called an asterism. The stars in a constellation or asterism rarely have any astrophysical relationship to each other; ...

point in a solar orbit apogee the outermost point in a terrestrial orbit apparent magnitude (m) the magnitude of a celestial object as seen by the observer appulse the apparent closest approach of two celestial bodies asterism a ...

The handle of the Dipper is the Great Bear's tail and the Dipper's cup is the Bear's flank. The Big Dipper is not a constellation itself, but an asterism, which is a distinctive group of stars.

Look to the northeastern part of Ophiuchus to find an exquisite five-star vee-shaped asterism that for awhile was its own constellation.

To the star group M 73 belong four stars forming an asterism. Three of the stars are of 11th magnitude, the fourth is even weaker, of 12th magnitude. They look like a tiny nebulosity which is why they were included to the Messier catalog.

Astronomers refers to star patterns as "constellations" and "asterisms", while astrologers refer to star patterns as "signs".

The asterism clearly shows the chair upon which Cassiopeia sits. It looks like a shape of "W", and is a guide to find out the Polar Star like the Big Dipper.

The Big Dipper is simply a pattern (or asterism) found within the constellation of Ursa Major. According to legend, Ursa Major was once the beautiful maiden Callisto, whom the god Zeus had an affair with.

It is officially classified as an asterism. An asterism is a star pattern, and is different from a constellation. For example, the big dipper is an asterism within the constellation of Ursa Major.

Crux, with its prominent cross-like asterism, is represented on the flags of several countries, including Australia, Brazil and New Zealand. Ancient Greeks considered the stars of Crux to be part of the constellation Centaurus.

See also: See also: Constellation, Star, Sky, Astro, Magnitude

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