Ever wonder about the stars? Well, if you look closely you may see certain shapes. These are called “constellations”, and they were invented by ancient people that looked in the sky and saw shapes in the stars.
It wasn’t just one race that identified these, it was lots of ancient cultures. The first direct evidence of these occurrences was found in Mesopotamia in 3000 BC. Then came astronomers from China, India, the Islamic Empire, Egypt, and Greece (Grecian constellations were mainly based off the ones from Mesopotamia, and we still use those today).
Constellations are measured by size in square degrees, and the constellation that takes up the most square degrees is called Hydra. Constellations are categorized by families, and Hydra is a constellation in the Her family, along with Hercules (the main constellation in the family), Centaurus, Ophiuchus, and many others. The sky is divided up into 8 sections, 4 quadrants in the north and 4 quadrants in the south. All constellations fall into 1 of those sections.
Dark cloud constellations are just dark patches in the Great Rift, which consists of a group of those patches in the galaxy. These are better observed in the southern hemisphere. These can be seen better when the Milky Way is darker, because these can cast shadows on the ground.
There are about 88 well-known constellations out there in the sky, maybe you will see some of them!