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Constellations



Constellations
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   6.91

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    unmapped, viewpoint, navigate, verse, runaway, freedom, constellation, nighttime, actually, certain, although, northern, since, believe, location, during
     content words:    Middle East, During Roman, Native American, Big Dipper, Ursa Major, North Star, Civil War, Drinking Gourd, Jeanette Winter


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Constellations
By Cindy Grigg
  

1     Groups of stars seen together are called constellations. This doesn't mean the stars are actually together. It's just that from our viewpoint here on Earth, they look like they are together. People long ago looked up in the sky and saw these groups of stars. They decided the stars looked like a picture, and then they made up stories about those pictures.
 
2     Some historians believe that many of the myths about the constellations were invented to help farmers remember them. When they saw certain constellations, they would know it was time to begin the planting. Farmers have always known that for most crops, you plant in the spring and harvest in the fall. But in some places in the world, there is not much difference in the seasons. Since different constellations are visible at different times of the year, farmers used them to tell what month it was. For example, Scorpius is only visible in the northern hemisphere's evening sky in the summer. Where the constellations are seen in the sky depends on the observer's location and the time of the year.

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