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Circumpolar stars as seen near Sisseton, SD. Big Dipper is in lower left.
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Northern Circumpolar Constellations

Because of the rotation of the Earth and its orbit around the Sun, we divide the stars and constellations into two groups. Some stars and constellations never rise nor set, and they are called circumpolar. All the rest are divided into seasonal stars and constellations. Which stars and constellations will be circumpolar and which seasonal depends on your latitude. In the northern hemisphere, we will always be able to see stars and constellations in the the northern circumpolar sky, while in the southern hemisphere, we will always be able to see stars and constellations in the southern circumpolar sky.

Constellations in the northern circumpolar sky include Auriga, Camelopardalis, Cassiopeia, Cepheus, Draco, Lynx, Perseus, Ursa Major, and Ursa Minor. These constellations are always visible in the night sky of the Northern Hemisphere.

Constellations in the southern circumpolar sky include Grus, Phoenix, Indus, Tucana, Pavo, Ara, Eridanus, Hydrus, Horologium, Reticulum, Octans, Apus, Triangulum Australe, Lupus, Circinus, Musca, Crux, Centaurus, Carina, Vela, Puppis, Dorado, and Chamaeleon. These constellations are always visible in the night sky of the Southern Hemisphere.

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The constellation Carina is known as the Keel, which is the bottom part of old ships. Carina was originally a part of Argo Navis, which was a huge boat in the night sky. It has since been divided into...more

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