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My speech outline done about the constellations.

April 29, 2012

I thought you might like to see the speech I did about astronomy just last week.


General Purpose:         To inform

Specific Purpose:        At the end of my speech, I want my audience to have a better understanding of the Origins of constellations and more intimate knowledge of a couple of specific constellations.

Introduction:               Who here has ever checked their horoscope or even knows which constellation is theirs in the zodiac? Well a lot of you, like me, may have been checking the wrong one. There are actually thirteen constellations in the zodiac instead of twelve and they pass through the line of the sun at different times then were first generally accepted in astrology. CENTRAL IDEA: Today I will give you some knowledge about the constellations including the new constellation of the zodiac. PREVEIW: First, I would like to give you a short history of the constellations and what they were used for; then I will go over to main constellations; the constellation Ophiuchus of the zodiac and the constellation Orion.

(Transition: Let’s start with a brief history of the origins constellations and why they exist.)

I.                   Origins and Purposes of the Constellations

A.                The Greeks

1.                  Used them to tell stories of their gods and greatest heroes.

2.                  Used as a seasonal calendar

3.                  Used as a navigational device

B.                 The Babylonians

1.                  Made 12 zodiacs for the constellations on the elliptical

a)                  Depending on what constellation the sun is lined up with

(1)               Each constellation of the zodiac given specific attributes to the people born in them

b)                  Incorrect dates

(1)               12 equal slices in sky for zodiac to fit into lunar calendar. Actual 13 unequal slices
(2)               Ophiuchus was left out. Nov. 30-Dec. 17


(Transition: And Ophiuchus is actually the first constellation that I wanted to talk to you about today.)

II.                Ophiuchus

A.                History/ Mythology

1.                  Was a legendary Greek Physician

a)                  Tried to cure the whole world and make mankind immortal

b)                  Zeus got jealous and struck him down

c)                  In the end Zeus honored him by putting him amongst the heavens

2.                  Called the snake holder

a)                  Snake stands for wisdom/ affiliated with Athena

B.                 Notable stars/ Astronomical Facts

1.                  3rd largest constellation in the zodiac behind Virgo and Aquarius

a)                  11th largest constellation out of all 88

2.                  Includes Barnard’s Star

a)                  Only two stars are closer to Earth than Barnard’s Star, including the sun.


(Transistion: Now although the last constellation is not in the zodiac, I would like to talk about it because it is the brightest and my favorite constellation in the night sky.)

III.             Orion

A.                History/Mythology

1.                  Orion fell in love with Artemis, the hunter goddess, (symbol is the moon). Her older brother the sun god Apollo tricked her into shooting Orion from afar. Filled with sadness Artemis placed amongst the stars to never be forgotten.

a)                  Romans and Greeks considered him the greatest hunter in the world.

2.                  Follow his belt right you will find the eye of Taurus.

a)                  Fighting Taurus to save seven sisters that Taurus holds captive.

B.                 Notable Stars/ Astronomical facts

1.                  Rigel

a)                  Brightest star in Orion / forms right heel

b)                  Blue-White giant / 50,000 times brighter than the sun

c)                  As big as mercury’s orbit

2.                  Betelguese

a)                  Left shoulder of Orion

b)                  Red super-giant

c)                  1,100 bigger than the sun

(1)               As big as mars’ orbit

d)                 Supernova


Conclusion: So there you have it. I have just told you a little about the origins and purposes of the constellations, as well as going over the constellation Ophichus of the zodiac and the constellation Orion. Now you can go out tonight and see for yourself these constellations and be able to recognize them and a few of their stars. After that try to spot some other constellations in the night sky and learn of their histories as well.


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One Comment
  1. Brian, this is so great! I wish I could have heard you give the speech! You covered everything! 🙂

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