Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Zodiac and Constellation

Zodiac vs Constellation

Constellations are defined as a group of stars which form a particular pattern and are named and identified by their traditional mythological figures. Zodiacs are also constellations, but all constellations are not zodiac constellations. Zodiacs constellations are the specific 12 constellations which are passed by the sun once a year. Zodiac constellations are the constellations which give the zodiac signs to people.

Constellations
Constellations are groups of stars that form a specific pattern and are recognized by mythological figures and have names attributed to them. Constellations are used for the study of astronomy. According to modern astronomy, the constellations are defined and recognized areas of the sphere called the celestial sphere. These defined areas or constellations are internationally recognized. When prominent stars which are at a certain proximity to the other stars are grouped around an asterism in the night sky of Earth, they form constellations.

There are many different constellations recognized by different cultures all over the world like Chinese, Hindu, Australian Aboriginal, astrology, and astronomy, but only 88 are considered the standard constellations recognized by the IAU, International Astronomical Union since 1922. Originally, 48 constellations had been defined and recognized by Ptolemy in the 2nd century. The majority of the 88 constellations have been taken from Ptolemy. The rest were recognized in the 17-18th centuries. Most of the recent constellations were found and defined by Nicolas Louis de Lacaille which are situated in the southern sky. Examples of some constellations are Orion, Sirius, etc.

Zodiacs
Zodiac constellations are a series of 12 particular constellations which are internationally recognized across which the sun, moon, and the stars move. The path along which the sun moves through the zodiacs is called the ecliptic. The ecliptic has been divided into 12 equal zones. These 12 zones are passed through by the sun at different times of the year just once, and the months through which the sun passes through them are attributed with a zodiac sign, for example, Aries or Cancer, etc.

Zodiacs were used by the Romans in the 1st millennium BC. The concept had been taken from Babylonian astronomy which was derived from Ptolemy’s study of the stars and the list of the groups of stars he had identified and named.
The word “zodiac” was derived from Latin word “zodiacus,” which was derived from the Greek word “zoidiakos” meaning “circle of animals.” That is why a lot of zodiac signs are represented by mythological hybrid animals.

Summary:
1.Zodiac constellations are 12 specific constellations which have been picked because they help in keeping time as the sun passes through them once a year, and its passage within a certain time is considered the particular zodiac month. 2.Zodiac constellations help in representing the course of the sun through the whole year or the calendar. All zodiacs are constellations, but all constellations are not zodiac constellations.


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