Classification questions can generate lots of interest and passion, because often there’s really no “right” way to classify things. In nature, things exist very happily without humans assigning names to them. Think about it.
The only places where classification is absolute is in human-defined things, such as numbers. We invent a “rule” that describes an even number, or for a prime number. And then we have to follow our own rules. (Nature has nothing to do with it.)
It wouldn’t be necessary to go into all this, except your question goes straight into the realm of “they are whatever people say they are”. 200 years ago, there was not much of a standard way of classifying constellations. After all, they’re just patterns in the sky! Now some lackwits in the International Astronomical Union decided in 1922 that there are 88. Whoopie doo. Some scientists … need a real job … you know?
But to go further, you may mean what kinds of nebula or galaxies there are. Those are slightly more important questions, because people are looking at, say a “barred spiral galaxy” and asking: What the heck makes it look like that? So then, for the sake of academic discussion, it’s necessary to say fairly definitively what is a barred spiral galaxy, and what is pretty much something else.
But it’s all still a convenience, not an absolute. This, of course, is the reason so many people got upset when Pluto was denied its status as a planet. Some absolutely said it was, some said it wasn’t, and others pointed out the argument was a little silly.
Pluto doesn’t care at all, of course. Nature didn’t design it to match some convenient label.
The most known constellations are actually what people use in astrology a lot, believing that being born at a certain time of the year determines your personality traits and such. Names like Gemini, Pisces, and Leo are familiar because of a person’s “birth sign,” depending on the person’s birth month. Many of the constellations in Western culture stem from Greek mythology, with each constellation telling it own story. Certain constellations can only be seen during certain times of year, and also where someone lives; it would be very hard to see the Southern Cross in the Northern Hemisphere. Below is a list of some of the more popular and well known constellations.
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