View from the Astronomy Tower: There’s a New “Harry Potter” Constellation

For a scientific field of study, astronomy has a number of connections to the magical world. All Hogwarts students study Astronomy as one of their core classes, several characters from the series have names inspired by celestial objects (Sirius, Draco, and Bellatrix, to name just a few), and there are many references in the books to the moon. And now, when you look at the night sky, you might catch a glimpse of the Boy Who Lived himself!

The Big Bang Fair, a UK science fair for young scientists and engineers, partnered with the University of Birmingham to create “Look Up To The Stars,” a series of new constellations inspired by contemporary famous figures. Until now, most constellations have been named for the zodiac and mythological figures, but these are no longer capturing the interest of young people. In a study commissioned by the Big Bang Fair, 72% of young people polled said they had never tried to find a constellation.

By rebranding constellations as characters and figures that interest young people today, the Big Bang Fair and the University of Birmingham hope to encourage children’s scientific curiosity. In the press release announcing “Look Up To The Stars,” Beth Elgood, Director of Communications at EngineeringUK, spoke about the importance of getting kids interested in the world around them.

Stargazing is a great way to spark young people’s interest in the universe and inspire them to find out more.

Among the newly minted constellations is Potter, which is made up of 12 stars in the shape of the Chosen One’s glasses. We’re pretty sure this will get young folks interested in stargazing!