Constellations are groups of stars that, when viewed from a planet, form a recognizable pattern. Examples of real-world constellations include Ursa Major, Ursa Minor, Orion, and Cassiopeia. Fictional worlds that have their own set of stars surrounding them will have their own unique constellations (if their population creates and establishes them). Constellations can be used during navigation, as an aspect of religion or mythology, or as a component of prophecy. Their appearance or disappearance may herald the end or dawn of a new era within a fictional history.
Designing Fictional Constellations
When designing fictional constellations, consider what objects, creatures, people, and stories are important cultural elements in your world. Constellations are frequently animals or folkloric/mythological heroes and tragic figures. Different cultures may have different constellations or stories behind them.
Constellations in fantasy worlds may be associated with specific powers, gods, events, or personalities. Magic may or may not be linked to the constellations.
Dark cloud constellations are ‘negative’ constellations based not on the presence of stars, but rather on their absence. The Great Rift, a series of dark patches in the milky way, is the basis for many of these dark cloud constellations.