|Winter: Orion Canis Major Canis Minor Monoceros Lepus Eridanus Taurus Auriga Camelopardalis Lynx Gemini Cancer|
|Spring: Hydra Sextans Crater Corvus Leo Leo Minor Ursa Major Ursa Minor Canes Venatici Coma Berenices Virgo Bootes|
|Summer: Draco Corona Borealis Hercules Ophiuchus Serpens Libra Scorpius Sagittarius Scutum Aquila Sagitta Vulpecula Lyra Cygnus|
|Autumn: Andromeda Perseus Pegasus Cassiopeia Cephus Cetus Lacerta Delphinus Equuleus Capricornus Aquarius Pisces Aries|
|Southern Skies: Centaurus Crux Lupus Corona Australis Piscis Australis Sculptor Tucana Fornax Dorado Columba Puppis Carina Vela|
Since ancient times, a large portion of the southern sky was one large constellation. It was called Argo Navis, and represented the stern section of the Argos, the legendary ship that transported Jason and the Argonauts on their quest to find the Golden Fleece. The Hevelius depiction above is reversed, as if looking down from space at the outside of a globe or spherical shell of stars that surrounded Earth, as the ancients believed.
In 1751, during his famous expedition to South Africa to chart the southern skies, French astronomer Nicolas Lacaille decided the ancient constellation was just too large and unwieldy. There were too many stars, too many other, mysterious objects. The area needed to be divided into smaller, more manageable constellations. But the Argo Navis was such a majestic, powerful image in the sky! It couldn't simply be scrapped, and replaced by new constellations. So Lacaille compromised, and left the ancient image in the sky, with all its grand mythological romance, and adventure, and tradition, and simply divided the figure into three parts: Puppis, the poop deck, Vela, the sail, and Carina, the keel.
I have taken the liberty of tracing the new constellations over the magnificent artwork of Johann Bayer's 1603 Uranometria above, to help show their ancient origins. Puppis is Latin for poop deck, the traditional name for the very stern of a ship. Although a remnant of its former self, Puppis is still a large constellation, straddling the entire width of the Milky Way, making it a virtual trove of star clusters and nebulae. Look for Puppis sandwiched between the two brightest stars in the sky, Sirius above and Canopus below.
NGC 2467 is an open star cluster embedded in a vast concentration of gas and dust that is coalescing into new stars, 13,000 light years away. It is often referred to as the Skull And Crossbones Nebula.