Science: Astronomy
Updated constellations   (+6, -3)  [vote for, against]

The classical contellations are all based on mythology, animals, or simple objects, and frankly, you need fairly large grain of salt to see what the names imply. I'd like to see some new ones created which would not have been possible when the original ones were conceived, ones that look like actual objects, such as the bicycle, the locomotive, or the mobile phone.
-- simonj, Jan 28 2009

The Southern Constellations http://www.astromax...on-page/con-sth.htm
Named in modern times by European scientists. [baconbrain, Jan 28 2009]

Best viewed from Halfiax, Candya Halfbakery_20Constellations
[phundug, Jan 28 2009]

A History of Star Catalogues It could be fired o...ointed I am to find
Not constellations but naming & re-naming of stars happens quite a lot. [DrBob, Jan 30 2009]

Man vs Rabbit http://www-istp.gsf.../StarFAQ12.htm#q188
It's all about orientation. [csea, Jan 31 2009]

"Upside down" [nineteenthly, Jan 31 2009]

Iceland http://farm1.static...27_15dc02c465_m.jpg
"Right way up" [nineteenthly, Jan 31 2009]

But in a few years time, no-one would be able to recognise The Great VCR
-- coprocephalous, Jan 28 2009

Ursa Major & Ursa Minor could become BetaMax and BetaMini
-- Jinbish, Jan 28 2009

"Mad" magazine did an updated zodiac in the early 1960's.
-- csea, Jan 28 2009

I think that this is exactly what happened when European explorers first saw the southern skies.

See link for The Pump, The Compass, The Clock, The Microscope, The Carpenter's Square.
-- baconbrain, Jan 28 2009

"Well, there's… Jerry the Cowboy. And that big dipper looking thing is Alan… the Cowboy." - Homer Simpson
-- jutta, Jan 28 2009

I want there to be a Great and Little Koala.
They could be updated periodically, for instance the Sextant could become the Satnav and Vela the Solar Panel. Come to think of it, there are already loads of navigational devices up there already. How about sponsoring them?
-- nineteenthly, Jan 28 2009

Based on the above list:

The Credit Card, The Chainsaw, The Equine-Human DNA experiment, The Gyroscope, The Stealth Bomber, The GPU, The Guided Missile, The Dollar Sign, The Tazer, The Tokamak, The Chemotherapy Unit, The Clock of the Long Now, The Pogonophore, The South Asian, The TV Dinner, The Particle Accelerator, The Anthrax Envelope, The Digital Tape Measure, The Metrosexual, The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Graphics Tablet, The Tailplane, The Multimeter, The Porcelain Filter, The HST, The Budgerigar, The Polygon, The Solar Panel, The Windsurfer.

Compare and contrast.
-- nineteenthly, Jan 28 2009

How about "The constellation namer"?
-- DenholmRicshaw, Jan 28 2009

The Asterism, The Appearance of Physical Proximity, The Stochastic Field, The Random Distribution, The Emergent Image, The Pattern Recognition, The Planisphere, The Planetarium, The Night Sky, The Technically-Still-A-Virgin, The Melanoma, The Big Bright Star, The List.
-- baconbrain, Jan 28 2009

...the list...?
-- xandram, Jan 29 2009

There were so many fewer questions when stars were just the holes to heaven.
-- daseva, Jan 29 2009

Well we can't go changing every generation perhaps we should think about objects that will be recognizable in the future. the cell phone I give no chance of being recognizable in the future it will probably be something implanted or glued to your thumbnail or pinky finger. A bicycle will probably always have two wheels lets think of some other things that should be recognizable. perhaps well established forms that are used in engineering like a propeller? maybe we will always have animals, dogs and lions and bears and farm animals I figure people have a taste for beef so we will keep them from dieing out. like universal and timeless things.
-- MercuryNotMars, Jan 30 2009

Like the Beatles?
-- daseva, Jan 30 2009

The cellphone clearly will be recognisable in the future, since the future, which for us humans will be rather short, will involve scratching a living by raking through the non-biodegradable debris of our civilisation, and all the stuff we've made will be ineradicable from our environment.
Having said that, maybe Norma should become the Beatles, thus: Gamma two - John.
Epsilon - George.
Iota one - Paul.
Eta - Ringo.
The dimmer stars could be named after the various "fifth Beatles", and Yoko Ono should be in there as something which completely ruins the impression of a square shape.
Then there´s the Stones.
-- nineteenthly, Jan 30 2009

//A bicycle will probably always have two wheels //
Only if invented by the French.

"And over there, my son, at the very zenith, is The Hullaballoon".
-- AbsintheWithoutLeave, Jan 30 2009

There would be lots of constellations called "The LED"
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 30 2009

Re: the idea. Nah! I like the old names.
-- DrBob, Jan 30 2009

//Like the Beatles?// A little; what of it?
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 30 2009

I've just realised that if there were a smaller square, the larger one would be called Norma Major. Maybe there could be a Morris Minor.
-- nineteenthly, Jan 30 2009

This whole topics leaves the black bits of the sky completely un-named.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 30 2009

I understand the Australian Aborigines did just that - they named the dark bits and didn't bother with the stars. I want to believe that's true.
-- nineteenthly, Jan 30 2009

Brilliant, thanks [UB]. Where was the emu? Is it discernable to you when you look up at night?
Another shape in the sky which i've long thought obvious is the rabbit in the Moon. I know more than one set of people can see something like that and i can never make out a face in it. I wonder if that means i'm on the autistic spectrum.
-- nineteenthly, Jan 30 2009

Ubie, it's not a question of parallax but of orientation. The "man" in the moon is right-way-up for the civilised world, but would be almost upside-down for you, and therefore much less recognisable as a face. The rabbit is sideways for us in the mother land, but still quite recognisable.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 30 2009

- and if we looked East while standing on our heads, we'd have the same view of the moon as you do (sort of).

As far as the idea goes, I fear the process of naming new constellations would fall victim to commercial interests, in the same way that all sports stadiums are now named after big corporations. Stargazing just wouldn't be the same ("oooh, is that the Lexus?" - "No that's over there, next to the Microsoft Zune Digital Media Player - you're looking at the World of Leather MASSIVE SALE NOW ON!!! - it's pretty, isn't it?").
-- hippo, Jan 31 2009

[UB], i don't understand why latitude makes a difference but it does. I can't see why an astronomical object would be perceived as having a top and bottom but somehow it has. When Hollywood films show the Moon, it's at the "wrong" angle to me since California is south of here.
Thinking of the Moon from here, fifty-two and a half degrees north, the rabbit's ears look tilted but at the top. I would say the features are as follows:
Ears - Seas of Fecundity and Crises
Head - Sea of Tranquility
Hips - Ocean of Storms.

I think the Chinese interpretation at least must be different because there's a pestle and mortar involved and the rabbit is a herbalist for some reason.

Maybe herbalists see a rabbit?

Anyway, two pictures, one taken from Auckland, one from Iceland, in the links.
-- nineteenthly, Jan 31 2009

//This whole topics leaves the black bits of the sky completely un-named.//

Already dealt with, MB. See 'Star Gaps' up in the top right hand corner.
-- DrBob, Jan 31 2009

Excellent, Dr. B. Delighted to see that someone is filling this much-needed gap in astronomy.
-- MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 31 2009

<Stares at feet at smiles modestly>
-- DrBob, Feb 01 2009

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