IAU designated constellations

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In contemporary astronomy, 88 constellations are recognized by the International Astronomical Union (IAU). [1] Each constellation is a region of the sky, bordered by arcs of right ascension and declination. Together they cover the entire celestial sphere, with their boundaries adopted officially by the International Astronomical Union in 1928 and published in 1930. [2]

Contents

The ancient Sumerians, and later the Greeks (as recorded by Ptolemy), established most of the northern constellations in international use today. The constellations along the ecliptic are called the zodiac. When explorers mapped the stars of the southern skies, European astronomers proposed new constellations for that region, as well as ones to fill gaps between the traditional constellations. In 1922, the International Astronomical Union adopted three-letter abbreviations for 89 constellations, the modern list of 88 plus Argo. After this, Eugène Joseph Delporte drew up boundaries for each of the 88 constellations so that every point in the sky belonged to one constellation. [1] [2]

History

Some constellations are no longer recognized by the IAU, but may appear in older star charts and other references. Most notable is Argo Navis, which was one of Ptolemy's original 48 constellations.

Modern constellations

The 88 constellations depict 42 animals, 29 inanimate objects and 17 humans or mythological characters.

Abbreviations

Each IAU constellation has an official 3-letter abbreviation based on the genitive form of the constellation name. The majority of the abbreviations are just the first three letters of the constellation name, with the first character capitalised: Ori for Orion, Ara for Ara/Arae, Com for Coma Berenices. In some cases, the abbreviation is from the genitive form without appearing in the base name (as in Sge for Sagitta/Sagittae, to avoid confusion with Sagittarius, abbreviated Sgr). In other cases, to unambiguously identify the constellation, such as where the name and its genitive differ in the first three letters, other letters beyond the initial three are used: Aps for Apus/Apodis, CrA for Corona Australis, CrB for Corona Borealis, Crv for Corvus. (Crater is abbreviated Crt to prevent confusion with CrA.) When letters are taken from the second word of a two-word name, the first letter from the second word is capitalised: CMa for Canis Major, CMi for Canis Minor. Two cases are ambiguous: Leo for the constellation Leo could be mistaken for Leo Minor (abbreviated LMi), and Tri for Triangulum could be mistaken for Triangulum Australe (abbreviated TrA). [3]

List

For help with the literary English pronunciations, see the pronunciation key. There is considerable diversity in how Latinate names are pronounced in English. For traditions closer to the original, see Latin spelling and pronunciation.

ConstellationAbbreviationsGenitiveOriginMeaningBrightest star
IAU [4] NASA [5]
Andromeda
/ænˈdrɒmɪdə/ [6]
AndAndrAndromedae
/ænˈdrɒmɪd/
ancient (Ptolemy) Andromeda (The chained maiden or princess) Alpheratz
Antlia
/ˈæntliə/ [6]
AntAntlAntliae
/ˈæntli/
1763, Lacaille air pump α Antliae
Apus
/ˈpəs/ [7]
ApsApusApodis
/ˈæpdɪs/ [7]
1603, Uranometria , created by Keyser and de Houtman Bird-of-paradise/Exotic Bird/Extraordinary Bird α Apodis
Aquarius
/əˈkwɛəriəs/ [6]
AqrAqarAquarii
/əˈkwɛəri/
ancient (Ptolemy)water-bearer Sadalsuud
Aquila
/ˈækwɪlə/ [6]
AqlAqilAquilae
/ˈækwɪl/
ancient (Ptolemy) eagle Altair
Ara
/ˈɛərə/ [7]
AraAraeArae
/ˈɛər/ [7]
ancient (Ptolemy) altar β Arae
Aries
/ˈɛər(i)z/ [6] [7]
AriArieArietis
/əˈr.ɪtɪs/ [7]
ancient (Ptolemy) ram Hamal
Auriga
/ɔːˈrɡə/ [6] [7]
AurAuriAurigae
/ɔːˈr/ [7]
ancient (Ptolemy)charioteer Capella
Boötes
/bˈtz/ [6]
BooBootBoötis
/bˈtɪs/
ancient (Ptolemy) herdsman Arcturus
Caelum
/ˈsləm/ [7]
CaeCaelCaeli
/ˈsl/ [7]
1763, Lacaille chisel or graving tool α Caeli
Camelopardalis
/kəˌmɛlˈpɑːrdəlɪs/ [7]
CamCamlCamelopardalis
/kəˌmɛlˈpɑːrdəlɪs/ [7]
1613, Plancius [note 1] giraffe β Camelopardalis
Cancer
/ˈkænsər/ [6]
CncCancCancri
/ˈkæŋkr/
ancient (Ptolemy)crab Tarf [8]
Canes Venatici
/ˈknzvɪˈnætɪs/ [7]
CVnCVenCanum Venaticorum
/ˈknəmvɪnætɪˈkɒrəm/
1690, Firmamentum Sobiescianum, Hevelius hunting dogs Cor Caroli
Canis Major
/ˈknɪsˈmər/ [7]
CMaCMajCanis Majoris
/ˈknɪsməˈɒrɪs/
ancient (Ptolemy)greater dog Sirius
Canis Minor
/ˈknɪsˈmnər/ [7]
CMiCMinCanis Minoris
/ˈknɪsmɪˈnɒrɪs/
ancient (Ptolemy)lesser dog Procyon
Capricornus
/ˌkæprɪˈkɔːrnəs/ [7]
CapCaprCapricorni
/ˌkæprɪˈkɔːrn/ [7]
ancient (Ptolemy)sea goat Deneb Algedi
Carina
/kəˈrnə/ [6]
CarCariCarinae
/kəˈrn/
1763, Lacaille, split from Argo Navis keel Canopus
Cassiopeia
/ˌkæsiˈpə/ [6] [7]
CasCassCassiopeiae
/ˌkæsiˈp/ [7]
ancient (Ptolemy) Cassiopeia (mythological character) Schedar [8]
Centaurus
/sɛnˈtɔːrəs/ [6]
CenCentCentauri
/sɛnˈtɔːr/
ancient (Ptolemy) centaur Rigil Kentaurus [8]
Cepheus
/ˈsfiəs,-fjuːs/ [7]
CepCephCephei
/ˈsfi/ [7]
ancient (Ptolemy) Cepheus (mythological character) Alderamin
Cetus
/ˈstəs/ [7]
CetCetiCeti
/ˈst/ [7]
ancient (Ptolemy) sea monster (later interpreted as a whale) Diphda [8]
Chamaeleon
/kəˈmliən/ [6]
ChaChamChamaeleontis
/kəˌmliˈɒntɪs/
1603, Uranometria , created by Keyser and de Houtman chameleon α Chamaeleontis
Circinus
/ˈsɜːrsɪnəs/ [6]
CirCircCircini
/ˈsɜːrsɪn/
1763, Lacaille compasses α Circini
Columba
/kˈlʌmbə/ [6]
ColColmColumbae
/kˈlʌmb/
1592, Plancius, split from Canis Major dove Phact
Coma Berenices
/ˈkməbɛrəˈnsz/ [7]
ComComaComae Berenices
/ˈkmbɛrəˈnsz/ [7]
1603, Uranometria , split from Leo Berenice's hair β Comae Berenices
Corona Australis [note 2]
/kˈrnəɔːˈstrælɪs,-ˈstr-/ [6] [7]
CrACorACoronae Australis
/kˈrnɔːˈstrælɪs/
ancient (Ptolemy)southern crown Meridiana [8]
Corona Borealis
/kˈrnəˌbɔːriˈælɪs,-ˈlɪs/ [6] [7]
CrBCorBCoronae Borealis
/kˈrnbɔːriˈælɪs/
ancient (Ptolemy)northern crown Alphecca
Corvus
/ˈkɔːrvəs/ [6]
CrvCorvCorvi
/ˈkɔːrv/
ancient (Ptolemy) crow Gienah
Crater
/ˈkrtər/ [6]
CrtCratCrateris
/krəˈtɪərɪs/
ancient (Ptolemy) cup δ Crateris
Crux
/ˈkrʌks/ [6]
CruCrucCrucis
/ˈkrsɪs/
1603, Uranometria , split from Centaurussouthern cross Acrux
Cygnus
/ˈsɪɡnəs/ [6]
CygCygnCygni
/ˈsɪɡn/
ancient (Ptolemy) swan or Northern Cross Deneb
Delphinus
/dɛlˈfnəs/ [6]
DelDlphDelphini
/dɛlˈfn/
ancient (Ptolemy)dolphin Rotanev
Dorado
/dəˈrɑːd/ [9]
DorDoraDoradus
/dəˈrdəs/
1603, Uranometria , created by Keyser and de Houtman dolphinfish α Doradus
Draco
/ˈdrk/ [7]
DraDracDraconis
/drəˈknɪs/ [7]
ancient (Ptolemy) dragon Eltanin [8]
Equuleus
/ɪˈkwliəs/ [7]
EquEqulEquulei
/ɪˈkwli/ [7]
ancient (Ptolemy) pony Kitalpha
Eridanus
/ɪˈrɪdənəs/ [7]
EriEridEridani
/ɪˈrɪdən/ [7]
ancient (Ptolemy)river Eridanus (mythology) Achernar
Fornax
/ˈfɔːrnæks/
ForFornFornacis
/fɔːrˈnsɪs/
1763, Lacaille chemical furnace Dalim [8]
Gemini
/ˈɛmɪn/ [6]
GemGemiGeminorum
/ˌɛmɪˈnɒrəm/
ancient (Ptolemy)twins Pollux
Grus
/ˈɡrʌs/ [7]
GruGrusGruis
/ˈɡrɪs/ [7]
1603, Uranometria , created by Keyser and de Houtman crane Alnair
Hercules
/ˈhɜːrkjʊlz/ [7]
HerHercHerculis
/ˈhɜːrkjʊlɪs/
ancient (Ptolemy) Hercules (mythological character) Kornephoros
Horologium
/ˌhɒrəˈlɒiəm,-ˈl-/ [6] [7]
HorHoroHorologii
/ˌhɒrəˈli/
1763, Lacaille pendulum clock α Horologii
Hydra
/ˈhdrə/ [6]
HyaHydaHydrae
/ˈhdr/
ancient (Ptolemy) Hydra (mythological creature) Alphard
Hydrus
/ˈhdrəs/ [6]
HyiHydiHydri
/ˈhdr/
1603, Uranometria , created by Keyser and de Houtman lesser water snake β Hydri
Indus
/ˈɪndəs/ [6]
IndIndiIndi
/ˈɪnd/
1603, Uranometria , created by Keyser and de Houtman Indian (of unspecified type) α Indi
Lacerta
/ləˈsɜːrtə/ [6]
LacLacrLacertae
/ləˈsɜːrt/
1690, Firmamentum Sobiescianum, Hevelius lizard α Lacertae
Leo
/ˈl/ [6]
LeoLeonLeonis
/lˈnɪs/
ancient (Ptolemy)lion Regulus
Leo Minor
/ˈlˈmnər/ [6]
LMiLMinLeonis Minoris
/lˈnɪsmɪˈnɒrɪs/
1690, Firmamentum Sobiescianum, Hevelius lesser lion Praecipua
Lepus
/ˈlpəs/ [7]
LepLepsLeporis
/ˈlɛpərɪs/ [6] [7]
ancient (Ptolemy) hare Arneb
Libra
/ˈlbrə,ˈl-/ [6]
LibLibrLibrae
/ˈlbr/
ancient (Ptolemy) balance Zubeneschamali [8]
Lupus
/ˈljpəs/ [6]
LupLupiLupi
/ˈljp/
ancient (Ptolemy) wolf α Lupi
Lynx
/ˈlɪŋks/ [6]
LynLyncLyncis
/ˈlɪnsɪs/
1690, Firmamentum Sobiescianum, Hevelius lynx α Lyncis
Lyra
/ˈlrə/ [6]
LyrLyraLyrae
/ˈlr/
ancient (Ptolemy) lyre / harp Vega
Mensa
/ˈmɛnsə/ [6]
MenMensMensae
/ˈmɛns/
1763, Lacaille Table Mountain (South Africa) α Mensae
Microscopium
/ˌmkrˈskpiəm/
MicMicrMicroscopii
/ˌmkrˈskpi/
1763, Lacaille microscope γ Microscopii
Monoceros
/məˈnɒsɪrəs/ [6] [7]
MonMonoMonocerotis
/ˌmɒnəsɪˈrtɪs/
1613, Plancius unicorn β Monocerotis
Musca
/ˈmʌskə/ [7]
MusMuscMuscae
/ˈmʌs/ [6] [7]
1603, Uranometria , created by Keyser and de Houtman fly α Muscae
Norma
/ˈnɔːrmə/ [6]
NorNormNormae
/ˈnɔːrm/ [6]
1763, Lacaille carpenter's level γ2 Normae
Octans
/ˈɒktænz/ [7]
OctOctnOctantis
/ɒkˈtæntɪs/ [7]
1763, Lacaille octant (instrument) ν Octantis
Ophiuchus
/ˌɒfiˈjuːkəs/ [6]
OphOphiOphiuchi
/ˌɒfiˈjuːk/
ancient (Ptolemy) serpent-bearer Rasalhague
Orion
/ˈrən/ [6]
OriOrioOrionis
/ˈrənɪs,ˌɒriˈnɪs/ [7]
ancient (Ptolemy) Orion (mythological character) Rigel
Pavo
/ˈpv/ [6] [7]
PavPavoPavonis
/pəˈvnɪs/ [7]
1603, Uranometria , created by Keyser and de Houtman peacock Peacock
Pegasus
/ˈpɛɡəsəs/ [6]
PegPegsPegasi
/ˈpɛɡəs/
ancient (Ptolemy) Pegasus (mythological winged horse) Enif
Perseus
/ˈpɜːrsiəs,-sjs/ [7]
PerPersPersei
/ˈpɜːrsi/ [7]
ancient (Ptolemy) Perseus (mythological character) Mirfak
Phoenix
/ˈfnɪks/ [6]
PhePhoePhoenicis
/fɪˈnsɪs/
1603, Uranometria , created by Keyser and de Houtman phoenix Ankaa
Pictor
/ˈpɪktər/ [7]
PicPictPictoris
/pɪkˈtɔːrɪs/ [7]
1763, Lacaille easel α Pictoris
Pisces
/ˈpsz,ˈpɪ-/ [6] [7]
PscPiscPiscium
/ˈpɪʃiəm/ [7]
ancient (Ptolemy)fishes Alpherg
Piscis Austrinus
/ˈpsɪsɔːˈstrnəs/
PsAPscAPiscis Austrini
/ˈpsɪsɔːˈstrn/
ancient (Ptolemy)southern fish Fomalhaut
Puppis
/ˈpʌpɪs/ [7]
PupPuppPuppis
/ˈpʌpɪs/ [7]
1763, Lacaille, split from Argo Navis poop deck Naos
Pyxis
/ˈpɪksɪs/ [6]
PyxPyxiPyxidis
/ˈpɪksɪdɪs/
1763, Lacaille mariner's compass α Pyxidis
Reticulum
/rɪˈtɪkjʊləm/ [6]
RetRetiReticuli
/rɪˈtɪkjʊl/
1763, Lacaille eyepiece graticule α Reticuli
Sagitta
/səˈɪtə/ [6]
SgeSgteSagittae
/səˈɪt/
ancient (Ptolemy) arrow γ Sagittae
Sagittarius
/sæɪˈtɛəriəs/ [6]
SgrSgtrSagittarii
/ˌsæəˈtɛəri/
ancient (Ptolemy) archer Kaus Australis
Scorpius
/ˈskɔːrpiəs/ [6]
ScoScorScorpii
/ˈskɔːrpi/
ancient (Ptolemy) scorpion Antares
Sculptor
/ˈskʌlptər/ [6]
SclSculSculptoris
/skəlpˈtɒrɪs/
1763, Lacaille sculptor α Sculptoris
Scutum
/ˈskjuːtəm/ [6]
SctScutScuti
/ˈskjuːt/
1690, Firmamentum Sobiescianum, Hevelius shield (of Sobieski) α Scuti
Serpens [10]
/ˈsɜːrpɛnz/
SerSerpSerpentis
/sərˈpɛntɪs/
ancient (Ptolemy)snake Unukalhai
Sextans
/ˈsɛkstənz/ [7]
SexSextSextantis
/sɛksˈtæntɪs/ [7]
1690, Firmamentum Sobiescianum, Hevelius sextant α Sextantis
Taurus
/ˈtɔːrəs/ [6]
TauTaurTauri
/ˈtɔːr/
ancient (Ptolemy) bull Aldebaran
Telescopium
/ˌtɛlɪˈskɒpiəm/
TelTeleTelescopii
/ˌtɛlɪˈskɒpi/
1763, Lacaille telescope α Telescopii
Triangulum
/trˈæŋɡjʊləm/
TriTriaTrianguli
/trˈæŋɡjʊl/
ancient (Ptolemy) triangle β Trianguli
Triangulum Australe
/trˈæŋɡjʊləmɔːˈstræl,-ˈstr-/
TrATrAuTrianguli Australis
/trˈæŋɡjʊlɔːˈstrælɪs/
1603, Uranometria , created by Keyser and de Houtman southern triangle Atria
Tucana
/tjˈknə/
TucTucnTucanae
/tjˈkn/
1603, Uranometria , created by Keyser and de Houtman toucan α Tucanae
Ursa Major
/ˌɜːrsəˈmər/ [6]
UMaUMajUrsae Majoris
/ˌɜːrsməˈɒrɪs/
ancient (Ptolemy)great bear Alioth
Ursa Minor
/ˌɜːrsəˈmnər/ [6]
UMiUMinUrsae Minoris
/ˌɜːrsmɪˈnɒrɪs/
ancient (Ptolemy)lesser bear Polaris
Vela
/ˈvlə/ [6]
VelVelrVelorum
/vɪˈlɔːrəm/
1763, Lacaille, split from Argo Navis sails γ2 Velorum
Virgo
/ˈvɜːrɡ/ [6]
VirVirgVirginis
/ˈvɜːrɪnɪs/
ancient (Ptolemy) virgin or maiden Spica
Volans
/ˈvlænz/ [7]
VolVolnVolantis
/vˈlæntɪs/ [7]
1603, Uranometria , created by Keyser and de Houtman flying fish β Volantis
Vulpecula
/vʌlˈpɛkjʊlə/ [6]
VulVulpVulpeculae
/vʌlˈpɛkjʊl/
1690, Firmamentum Sobiescianum, Hevelius fox Anser

Asterisms

Various other unofficial patterns exist alongside the constellations. These are known as "asterisms". Examples include the Big Dipper/Plough and the Northern Cross. Some ancient asterisms, for example Coma Berenices, Serpens, and portions of Argo Navis, are now officially constellations.

See also

Notes

  1. The constellations Camelopardalis, Columba, and Monoceros, formed by Petrus Plancius in 1592 and in 1613, are often erroneously attributed to Jacob Bartsch and Augustin Royer.
  2. Corona Australis is sometimes called "Corona Austrina" /ɔːˈstrnə/ (genitive: Coronae Austrinae).

Related Research Articles

Argo Navis Obsolete Southern constellation

Argo Navis, or simply Argo, was a large constellation in the southern sky that has since been divided into the three constellations of Carina, Puppis and Vela. The genitive was "Argus Navis", abbreviated "Arg". Flamsteed and other early modern astronomers called the constellation just Navis, genitive "Navis", abbreviated "Nav".

Apus Constellation

Apus is a small constellation in the southern sky. It represents a bird-of-paradise, and its name means "without feet" in Greek because the bird-of-paradise was once wrongly believed to lack feet. First depicted on a celestial globe by Petrus Plancius in 1598, it was charted on a star atlas by Johann Bayer in his 1603 Uranometria. The French explorer and astronomer Nicolas Louis de Lacaille charted and gave the brighter stars their Bayer designations in 1756.

Bayer designation star naming system in which a specific star is identified by a Greek or Latin letter followed by the genitive form of its parent constellations Latin name

A Bayer designation is a stellar designation in which a specific star is identified by a Greek or Latin letter followed by the genitive form of its parent constellation's Latin name. The original list of Bayer designations contained 1,564 stars. The brighter stars were assigned their first systematic names by the German astronomer Johann Bayer in 1603, in his star atlas Uranometria. Bayer catalogued only a few stars too far south to be seen from Germany, but later astronomers supplemented Bayer's catalog with entries for southern constellations.

Constellation Group of visible stars forming a pattern on the celestial sphere

A constellation is an area on the celestial sphere in which a group of visible stars forms a perceived outline or pattern, typically representing an animal, mythological person or creature, or an inanimate object.

Corona Australis Constellation in the southern celestial hemisphere

Corona Australis is a constellation in the Southern Celestial Hemisphere. Its Latin name means "southern crown", and it is the southern counterpart of Corona Borealis, the northern crown. It is one of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd-century astronomer Ptolemy, and it remains one of the 88 modern constellations. The Ancient Greeks saw Corona Australis as a wreath rather than a crown and associated it with Sagittarius or Centaurus. Other cultures have likened the pattern to a turtle, ostrich nest, a tent, or even a hut belonging to a rock hyrax.

Canes Venatici Constellation in the northern celestial hemisphere

Canes Venatici is one of the 88 official modern constellations. It is a small northern constellation that was created by Johannes Hevelius in the 17th century. Its name is Latin for "hunting dogs", and the constellation is often depicted in illustrations as representing the dogs of Boötes the Herdsman, a neighboring constellation. Cor Caroli is the constellation's brightest star, with an apparent magnitude of 2.9. La Superba is one of the reddest naked-eye stars and one of the brightest carbon stars. The Whirlpool Galaxy is a spiral galaxy tilted face-on to observers on Earth, and was the first galaxy whose spiral nature was discerned.

Flamsteed designation combination of a number and constellation name that uniquely identifies most naked eye stars in the modern constellations visible from southern England

A Flamsteed designation is a combination of a number and constellation name that uniquely identifies most naked eye stars in the modern constellations visible from southern England. They are named for John Flamsteed who first used them while compiling his Historia Coelestis Britannica.

Libra (constellation) Zodiac constellation in the southern celestial hemisphere

Libra is a constellation of the zodiac and is located in the Southern celestial hemisphere. Its name is Latin for weighing scales, and its symbol is . It is fairly faint, with no first magnitude stars, and lies between Virgo to the west and Scorpius to the east. Beta Librae, also known as Zubeneschamali, is the brightest star in the constellation. Three star systems are known to have planets.

Triangulum Constellation in the northern celestial hemisphere

Triangulum is a small constellation in the northern sky. Its name is Latin for "triangle", derived from its three brightest stars, which form a long and narrow triangle. Known to the ancient Babylonians and Greeks, Triangulum was one of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy. The celestial cartographers Johann Bayer and John Flamsteed catalogued the constellation's stars, giving six of them Bayer designations.

Triangulum Australe constellation in the southern celestial hemisphere

Triangulum Australe is a small constellation in the far Southern Celestial Hemisphere. Its name is Latin for "the southern triangle", which distinguishes it from Triangulum in the northern sky and is derived from the almost equilateral pattern of its three brightest stars. It was first depicted on a celestial globe as Triangulus Antarcticus by Petrus Plancius in 1589, and later with more accuracy and its current name by Johann Bayer in his 1603 Uranometria. The French explorer and astronomer Nicolas Louis de Lacaille charted and gave the brighter stars their Bayer designations in 1756.

IAU designated constellations by area List of constellations by area

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) designates 88 constellations of stars. In the table below, they are ranked by the solid angle that they subtend in the sky, measured in square degrees and millisteradians.

Volans constellation in the southern celestial hemisphere

Volans is a constellation in the southern sky. It represents a flying fish; its name is a shortened form of its original name, Piscis Volans. Volans was one of twelve constellations created by Petrus Plancius from the observations of Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser and Frederick de Houtman and it first appeared on a 35-cm diameter celestial globe published in 1597 in Amsterdam by Plancius with Jodocus Hondius. The first depiction of this constellation in a celestial atlas was in Johann Bayer's Uranometria of 1603.

Columba (constellation) constellation in the southern celestial hemisphere

Columba is a faint constellation created in the late sixteenth century, remaining in official use, with its rigid limits set in the 20th century. Its name is Latin for dove. It takes up 1.31% of the southern celestial hemisphere and is just south of Canis Major and Lepus.

Petrus Plancius Dutch astronomer and cartographer

Petrus Plancius was a Dutch-Flemish astronomer, cartographer and clergyman. He was born as Pieter Platevoet in Dranouter, now in Heuvelland, West Flanders. He studied theology in Germany and England. At the age of 24 he became a minister in the Dutch Reformed Church.

Outline of astronomy Overview of and topical guide to astronomy

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to astronomy:

Chinese star names are named according to ancient Chinese astronomy and astrology. The sky is divided into star mansions and asterisms. The system of 283 asterisms under Three Enclosures and Twenty-eight Mansions was established by Chen Zhuo of the Three Kingdoms period, who synthesized ancient constellations and the asterisms created by early astronomers Shi Shen, Gan De and Wuxian. Since the Han and Jin Dynasties, stars have been given reference numbers within their asterisms in a system similar to the Bayer or Flamsteed designations, so that individual stars can be identified. For example, Deneb is referred to as 天津四.

Former constellation

Former constellations are old historical western constellations that for various reasons are no longer widely recognised or are not officially recognised by the International Astronomical Union (IAU). Prior to 1930, many of these defunct constellations were traditional in one or more countries or cultures. Some only lasted decades but others were referred to over many centuries. All are now recognised only for having classical or historical value. Many former constellations had complex Latinised names after objects, people, or mythological or zoological creatures. Others with unwieldy names were shortened for convenience. For example, Scutum Sobiescianum was reduced to Scutum, Mons Mensae to Mensa, and Apparatus Sculptoris to Sculptor.

Constellation family group of related constellations

Constellation families are collections of constellations sharing some defining characteristic, such as proximity on the celestial sphere, common historical origin, or common mythological theme. In the Western tradition, most of the northern constellations stem from Ptolemy's list in the Almagest, and most of the far southern constellations were introduced by sailors and astronomers who traveled to the south in the 16th to 18th centuries. Separate traditions arose in India and China.

Gould designations for stars are similar to Flamsteed designations in the way that they number stars within a constellation in increasing order of right ascension. Each star is assigned an integer, followed by " G. ", and then the Latin genitive of the constellation it lies in. See 88 modern constellations for a list of constellations and the genitive forms of their names.

<i>Uranias Mirror</i>

Urania's Mirror; or, a view of the Heavens is a set of 32 astronomical star chart cards, first published in November 1824. They are illustrations based on Alexander Jamieson's A Celestial Atlas, but the addition of holes punched in them allow them to be held up to a light to see a depiction of the constellation's stars. They were engraved by Sidney Hall, and were said to be designed by "a lady", but have since been identified as the work of the Reverend Richard Rouse Bloxam, an assistant master at Rugby School.

References

  1. 1 2 "The Constellations". International Astronomical Union . Retrieved 26 July 2019.
  2. 1 2 Eugène Delporte; International Astronomical Union (1930). Délimitation scientifique des constellations. At the University press.
  3. Russell, Henry Norris (1922). "The New International Symbols for the Constellations". Popular Astronomy. 30: 469. Bibcode:1922PA.....30..469R.
  4. "The Constellations". International Astronomical Union . Retrieved 9 December 2015.
  5. NASA Dictionary of terms for Aerospace Use – table V, Constellations
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 OED, 2nd edition
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 Random House Dictionary
  8. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 "Naming Stars". IAU.org. Retrieved 30 July 2018.
  9. "Definition of dorado". Collins English Dictionary . Retrieved 28 November 2012.
  10. Serpens may be divided into Serpens Cauda (serpent's tail) and Serpens Caput (serpent's head)