I Need to Define New Constellations?
The Extra-Terrestrials (ET’s) have arrived. They want to work with humankind, but they have a few issues we must resolve before we can accompany them in galactic exploration. In particular, they find our system of constellations arcane and incomprehensible. They tried contacting several governments and international societies, but all were unavailable. So the ET’s have turned to you. They want you to define better constellations and asterisms for our future star-maps. How will you do it?
Luckily, you came to the right place. Here, I re-define constellations and asterisms so that they are universally meaningful, and visually coherent. I have cast aside all pre-conceptions and mythologies, and constructed a new system. Just direct the ET’s to this web site.
What problems do the ET’s have with our current constellations?
1) They care nothing about our archaic mythologies. (Do you care about the stories of Cepheus the King, or Cancer the Crab? They care even less.) However, they are intrigued by the human condition, and so want constellations that represent the history and truths of humankind.
2) Many of our current constellations are ridiculously contorted. They are just long stretches of left-over stars - consider Hydra, Draco, and Eridanus. Serpens is actually divided into two parts, separated by Ophiuchus. The ET’s want constellations and asterisms where the stars form compact, coherent visual fields.
3) The ET’s claim we have neglected the southern hemisphere, half of our sky. (Octans, Circinus, and Triangulum Australe are not very imaginative). Most of the interesting constellations were defined in the northern hemisphere, where humankind arose and became industrialized. We must give up this northern parochialism, and define compelling constellations and asterisms across the entire celestial sphere.
The ET’s are not asking us to embrace their alien hyper-matrix system of star locations. They appreciate the human condition and history, but would like something a little more “portable”. They find it amusing that we would create pictures from the random points of light on our skies. Well-defined constellations/asterisms will make it easier for them to describe humankind to their descendents and intelligent stellar neighbors. They are asking for more than a reorientation of our sky-coordinates. They hope that you can define asterisms as celestial alphabet. Each asterism would be a character in this alphabet, or, better yet, a chapter in their encyclopaedia about humankind.
The ET’s still have a few doubts about us. When they first arrived, they were uncertain about Earth’s dominant intelligent life form. They attempted contact with insects, computers, and automobiles before they provisionally decided that humankind was “in charge” of Earth. If you respond well, their doubts will fade. The stakes are high.