Stepping back from the poetic, it must be noted that the stars which make up constellations are not usually physically bound, and that constellations themselves only exist when seen from a certain viewpoint. Thus, whilst Orion
strongly resembles a man holding a bow when viewed from Wales
, the constellation is a random pattern of lights when viewed from HD 50229
, or indeed from Meissa
, the hunter's head. This star is more than twice as far from Earth
, one of Orion's 'shoulders'.
Given that constellations are therefore arbitrary groupings of the brighter stars in the sky viewed from a certain point, it seems quite possible that some of the common names are already formed by arrangements of the stars in our galaxy, if only the observer knew where to float, or on which planet to stand (I shall assume that the use of 'universe' in the writeup title is a poetic substition for 'galaxy'; poets are prone to commit florid inaccuracies). Given that the Milky Way contains a finite amount of stars, it would be a simple matter of writing a computer program to:
Divide the galaxy into a three-dimensional grid, 1AU on a side;
Calculate the viewpoint from each vertex, looking towards every other vertex around the surface of a rough sphere with a radius 1KAU away from the viewer;
Process the resulting images so as to highlight the brighter, more visible stars, taking account of the possibility of rotation;
Determine which patterns of stars spell names;
Simplicity itself, although computationally intensive. There are no doubt several shortcuts which could be implemented, and I must state that I am not a programmer, I do not belong here. If one was possessed of superhuman vision, any random section of sky would appear to contain a fine matrix of stars from which any name could be generated - and if we are to accept that the often extremely abstract alignments of the constellations form definite pictures, one would not have to be too picky to spot names in the sky (indeed, Vulpecula forms a letter 'U', which is a forename in some countries).
And always remember that there is only a finite amount of matter in the universe, and that eventually all the fires will go out and everything will end.
The major reference used for this writeup was Celestia, the 3D space simulator and ambient viewing experience.