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Celestial Tour: Dark Constellations


Produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute’s Office of Public Outreach in collaboration with NASA’s Universe of Learning partners: Caltech/IPAC, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, and Sonoma State University.

  • Panorama of the Milky Way over Fisher Towers, Utah, April 28, 2017: Photograph by Zolt Levay 

  • Views of the night sky with maps of sky cultures created using Stellarium v. 0.18.0

  • Modern western constellations: Illustrations by Johannes and Elisabetha Hevelius, Hevelius Star Atlas, courtesy of the U.S. Naval Observatory and STScI

  • Hawaiian starlines: Sky culture by Nainoa Thompson; artwork by Kealoha Kaneakua

  • Traditional D(L)akota star knowledge: Paintings by Annette S. Lee, Native Skywatchers

  • Inca dark constellations: Painting by Miguel Araoz Cartagena, Archaeological Museum of Cusco

  • Alpha Centauri System, WFPC2 visible light image from the Hubble Space Telescope: ESA/Hubble & NASA

  • Beta Centauri System, infrared image from the Vector-APP coronagraph, Magellan Adaptive Optics (MagAO) instrument, Magellan Clay telescope, Las Campanas Observatory, Chile: Leiden University/University of Arizona

  • Lobster nebula, multi-wavelength image from the Chandra X-ray Observatory, ROSAT telescope, Spitzer Space Telescope, and United Kingdom Infrared Telescope: X-ray—NASA/CXC/PSU/L. Townsley, et al; optical—UKIRT; infrared—NASA/JPL-Caltech

  • Cat’s Paw nebula, ground-based optical telescope: George Varouhakis

  • Central Milky Way, ESO GigaGalaxy Zoom visible light mosaic from ESO’s Paranal Observatory: ESO/S. Guisard

  • Lobster nebula and Cat’s paw nebula, infrared image from the Herschel Space Telescope: ESA/Herschel/PACS, SPIRE/Hi-GAL Project

  • Inca dark constellations: Based on painting by Miguel Araoz Cartagena, Archaeological Museum of Cusco

  • Kamilaroi sky culture: Research by Robert Fuller, Macquarie University

  • Arabic sky culture: Images prepared by Kutaibaa Akraa

  • Panorama of the Milky Way over the ESO Very Large Telescope, Cerro Paranal, Chile: John Colosimo/ESO


Writing: Margaret W. Carruthers
Design: Dani Player
Science review lead: Dr. Brandon Lawton
Education lead: Timothy Rhue II
Additional editorial input: Dr. Lynn Cominsky, Sonoma State University; Dr. Sabrina Stierwalt, Caltech/IPAC; Dr. Laura Peticolas, Sonoma State University; Dr. Marja Seidel, Caltech/IPAC; Amelia Chapman, Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Music: APM


All narration is presented in text form within the video. In addition, a full transcript will be available in the Library in the near future. Check back soon!