The Question:

How many constellations are there in the sky? Who is in charge of naming new stars and constellations, anyway?

The Answer:

There are 88 constellations in the sky. This number was established by the International Astronomical Union in 1928. Today, this same organization is in charge of naming celestial bodies. It is the only organization recognized by scientists for this purpose.

Constellations are the easiest way for astronomers to group stars in the sky. Although they are recognized by their border stars, constellations such as the well-known Orion, are actually a region of the sky containing millions of stars. By breaking up the sky into these 88 regions, or constellations, astronomers, and back-yard amateurs can more easily find stars in the vast night sky.

Here is a link to the names of the 88 constellations.

—The Fact Monster

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