When you’re just getting started in astronomy, it can be difficult to know which constellations to look out for. There are some many of them up in the sky, it can be really difficult to even know where to start. However, fortunately some constellations are easier to find that others.
You’ll want to find the right time of year to be able to spot stars, as well as using your telescope in a sensible location too. Minimizing light pollution is going to be key to ensuring that you can actually see the night sky clearly. So, if you’re trying to find some constellations in the sky, then here are some of the easiest for you to see.
5 Easy Constellations for Kids to Spot
The first thing that you need to do is get your bearings and orient your star chart properly. If you want a manual star chart, then go to my page of all the constellations to find one. However nowadays with all the technology we have, you’re best off downloading a star chart app or at least using a website with a star chart.
It should be quite easy to find these constellations, however remember that they’re not always visible throughout the year. So, you might have to wait a while to see them!
5 Easy Constellations for Kids to Spot
Ursa Major: The Great Bear
Ursa Major is likely the most well known constellation in our night sky. It’s often referred to as the Great Bear, however if you’re in the US, you’ll likely have seen its main seven stars referred to as the “big dipper”. It is very well known for its two very bright stars Dubhe and Merak, which can easily be spotted within the constellation.
It is one of the easiest constellations to identify in our night sky, and it’s a great place for kids to start their stargazing journey. Not only does it have some of the brightest stars, but it is also one of the better constellations that actually resembles what it is supposed to!
You might not have heard of Ursa Minor before, but you’ve likely heard its nicknames! It’s also known as the Little Bear, or in some countries it’s known as the Little Dipper. It’s the companion constellation of the larger Ursa Major, and it’s located more to the North of its companion as well.
The brightest star in this constellation is called Polaris, and it’s the star closest to the North celestial pole. You can usually see this constellation fairly clearly in the Northern hemisphere the whole year round, which makes it one of the easiest constellations to start out looking for.
Taurus: The Bull
Taurus is another one of the easiest constellations for us to find in the night sky. This is made easier by the brightest star in the constellation, Aldebaran (also known as Alpha Tauri), which is actually the 14th brightest star in the sky overall. This makes Taurus quite easy to spot when you’re looking into the night sky.
The best time of year to see Taurus is anytime outside of April to roughly July, when it isn’t visible. Outside of this, it is quite easy to find Taurus is located next to Orion, which makes it all the easier to find this constellation too. As well as Orion, it is also bordered by Auriga, Persues and another member of the Zodiac family, Gemini.
Orion: The Hunter
Orion, also known as the Hunter, is another one of the easiest constellations to spot in the night sky. He is well known for his abundance of bright stars, and of course, the belt running across his midriff. We refer to this simply as Orion’s belt, and although they are probably the most well known, they’re not even the brightest stars in Orion. This makes it very easy for you to spot.
The best time of the year to see Orion is the winter months, starting in November through to February. This is when you should be able to see just how bright and impressive Orion is. At this time of year, you’ll be able to see both Rigel and Betelgeuse shining brightly, as they are two of the top ten brightest stars in our night sky.
Gemini: The Twins
Gemini is another one of the constellations in our night sky that it is simple to find. It borders both Taurus and Orion, so if you can find them first, it’s easier to find Gemini!
If you know your astrology, then you’ll know Gemini is the Twin sign. It’s made up of mythological twins Pollum and Castor as the brightest stars, and you can see them as stick figures in the constellation. It makes up part of the Zodiac family, which are some of the larger constellations in our night sky, and a major features within astrology.
Gemini has a lot of different stars in the sky that are visible to the naked eye, which is just one of the reasons that make it an excellent constellation to start out with if you’re stargazing with the kids.
These are just a few of the constellations in the night sky that are very is to see. Remember that there are 88 constellations in total, and not all of them are visible from everywhere on Earth, and they’re not visible all year round either! So maybe start with these easy to see constellations and then move onto some harder ones when you’re finished.