Constellations of the Western zodiac

This NASA graphic offers an introduction to the constellations visible in the Northern Hemisphere.  (Image credit: NASA)

The constellations in the night sky are connected to myth and legend, as well as the unscientific concepts of astrology. But they also have held importance and usefulness to science and exploration throughout history and still today.

Stars in the universe are scattered across a vast, three-dimensional space. When we look up from the surface of our planet, however, humans have historically observed constellations: two-dimensional pictures and shapes connecting the stars in the sky to stories from cultures around the globe.