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According to modern astronomers, how many constellations is the whole sky divided?
$\begin{align}
  & A){{10}^{11}} \\
 & B)88 \\
 & C)880 \\
 & D)5000 \\
\end{align}$

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Last updated date: 16th Jun 2024
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Answer
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Hint: The International Astronomical Union (IAU) is a union involving scientists and astronomers who have dedicated their lives to observe the celestial sphere around us. The celestial sphere consists of stars, planets and other celestial bodies. Among these, the stars seem to be arranged in different patterns, when observed carefully. These patterns are named as constellations, for easiness in observing the celestial sphere. According to the International Astronomical Union (IAU), there are less than a hundred constellations in the whole sky.

Complete step by step answer:
Constellations in the sky are nothing but patterns formed by stars in the sky. These patterns have well defined boundaries, marked by stars themselves. Therefore, constellations can be related to regions in the sky, formed as well as fenced by stars, in different patterns. According to modern astronomers, each star in the sky falls into either one or the other constellation, in such a way that no known-stars are missed from forming a constellation in the sky. In 1928, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) stated that there are a total number of 88 constellations in the whole sky.
The International Astronomical Union (IAU) is a union involving scientists and astronomers who follow their passion to observe the celestial sphere around us. The celestial sphere or the sky consists of stars, planets and other celestial bodies. Among these known-objects in the sky, the stars seem to be arranged in different patterns, when observed carefully. These patterns are named as constellations, as already mentioned. Grouping stars into constellations was basically done for easiness in understanding the sky, when observed from the surface of the Earth. These constellations were also found to be useful in navigation around the Earth’s surface.
The patterns formed by stars in constellations are nothing but shapes of certain animals, mythological human characters and other inanimate objects. According to the IAU, the 88 constellations in the sky have the shapes of 42 animals, 29 inanimate objects and 17 mythological human characters. Some examples of constellations seen in the sky are:
Cancer – arranged in the form of a crab
Aquarius – arranged in the form of a water-bearer
Delphinus – arranged in the form of a dolphin
Leo – arranged in the form of a lion
Libra – arranged in the form of a balance
Cassiopeia – arranged in the form of the mythological character Cassiopeia
There are many more examples like the ones mentioned above, which sum up the total 88 constellations, recognised and accepted by the International Astronomical Union (IAU).

So, the correct answer is “Option B”.

Note: The recognition and acceptance of constellations have changed over time. People used to relate constellations with their beliefs, culture and experiences. Due to these reasons, names of constellations as well as the patterns recognised by people of different countries or regions varied over time. But then came the International Astronomical Union (IAU), which combined the information from all over the world as well as the data observed by themselves, to publish their statement on a total number of 88 constellations in the whole sky, in 1930.