|THE CONSTELLATIONS OF THE ZODIAC
For thousands of years, people have
seen patterns in the stars in the night sky. Groups composed mainly of
stars form recognizable patterns called constellations. Early people
recognized that they could tell the basic seasons by looking at
certain constellation within a zone called the ecliptic. The
ecliptic is a band in the sky defined by the trace of the Sun on June
21 (highest in the sky) and December 20 (lowest in the sky).
Constellations recognized in this zone are referred to as the Zodiac.
This was an important mark to ancient people who were mainly farmers.
It was a celestial calendar that helped them determine when to plant
their crops and to get ready for winter.
Many civilizations used monuments
to help them recognize the onset of time. Stonehenge, an
ancient ruin in England is probably some type of solar and celestial
calendar to mark these heavenly events.