List of proper names of stars


List of proper names of stars

This is a list of proper names for stars, mostly derived from Arabic and Latin. See also the list of stars by constellation, which gives variant names, derivations, and magnitudes.

Of the roughly 10,000 stars visible to the naked eye, only few hundred have been given proper names in the history of astronomy.[1] Traditional astronomy tends to group stars into asterisms, and give proper names to those, not to individual stars.

Most star names are in origin descriptive of the part of the asterism they are found in; thus Cynosure is the "dog's tail", formerly "the star in the tail of the 'dog' asterism" (now Ursa Minor), or Phecda, a corruption of the Arabic fakhð ad-dubb "thigh of the bear". Only a handful of the brightest stars have individual proper names not depending on their asterism; so Sirius "the scorcher", Antares and Canopus (of unknown origin), Alphard "the solitary one", Regulus "kinglet"; and arguably Aldebaran "the follower" (of the Pleiades), Procyon "preceding the dog [Sirius]".

In addition to the limited number of traditional star names, there are some coined in modern times, e.g. "Avior" for Epsilon Carinae (1930), and a number of stars named after people (mostly in the 20th century).


Constellation Bayer designation Modern proper name Historical names / comments
Eridanus θ Eri Acamar
  • Originally called ākhir an-nahr (آخر النهر) in Arabic, meaning "river's end", named because it was the brightest star in the constellation Eridanus (the River). (Before the 16th century, this was the last star in the Eridanus constellation; it was later extended to Achenar, below.) [2]
  • "Acamar" was first used in the Alphonsine tables (circa 1252). [2]
  • Also called Al Thalim ("the Ostrich") by 15th-century Tartar astronomer Ulug Beg. [2]
  • The Greek-Persian astronomer Chrysococca called it Aulax in Greek, meaning "the Furrow".[2]
Eridanus α Eri Achernar from Arabic آخر النهر ākhir an-nahr "river's end"
Cassiopeia η Cas Achird[3][4]
Scorpius β Sco Acrab, Akrab, Elakrab; Graffias The name "Acrab" is from Arabic العقرب al-aqrab "the scorpion", the name of the constellation. Italian graffias means "claws" and was also applied to Xi Scorpii and to Alpha Librae[by whom?]
α Crucis Acrux "Acrux" is a modern contraction of the Bayer designation[by whom?]
α Cancri Acubens
ζ Leonis Adhafera
ε Canis Majoris Adhara
ε Tauri Ain
η Lyrae Aladfar
γ Andromedae Alamak
μ Lyrae Alathfar
β Virginis Alaraph
π Sagittarii Albaldah
ε Aquarii Albali
β Cygni Albireo
α Corvi Alchiba
Ursa Major 80 UMa Alcor Arabic سها suhā "neglected one"; notable as a faintly perceptible companion of Mizar (ζ UMa)
η Tauri Alcyone
α Tauri Aldebaran In Indian astronomy known as Rohini "the red one".
α Cephei Alderamin
ζ Leonis Aldhafera
γ Gruis Aldhanab
ζ Draconis Aldhibah
δ Draconis Aldib
δ Cygni Al Fawaris
α Coronae Australis Alfecca Meridiana
β Cephei Alfirk
α Capricorni Algedi
α Capricorni Al Giedi
α Persei Algenib
γ Pegasi Algenib
γ Leonis Algieba
β Persei Algol
δ Corvi Algorab
α Aurigae Alhajoth
γ Geminorum Alhena
ε Ursae Majoris Alioth
η Ursae Majoris Alkaid
θ Columbae Al Kurud
ρ-2 Cephei Al Kalb al Rai
μ Bootis Alkalurops
χ Ursae Majoris Al Kaphrah
α Crateris Alkes
ξ Cephei Alkurah
γ Andromedae Almach
κ Leonis Al Minliar al Asad
α Gruis Al Nair
γ Sagittarii Alnasl
ε Orionis Alnilam
ζ Orionis Alnitak
Scorpius τ Sco Alniyat
Scorpius σ Sco Al Niyat
α Hydrae Alphard
α Coronae Borealis Alphecca
α Andromedae Alpheratz
γ Cephei Alrai
α Sagittarii Alrami
α Piscium Alrischa
σ Draconis Alsafi
31 Lyncis Alsciaukat
β Aquilae Alshain
ν Capricorni Alshat
α Aquilae Altair
δ Draconis Altais
β Cancri Altarf
λ Leonis Alterf
ι Aquilae Al Thalimain
λ Aquilae Al Thalimain
η Canis Majoris Aludra
ξ Ursae Majoris Alula Australis
ν Ursae Majoris Alula Borealis
β Draconis Alwaid
θ Serpentis Alya
ξ Geminorum Alzir
θ Aquarii Ancha
Eridanus τ2 Eri Angetenar from Arabic عرجة النهر arjat an-nahr "bend of the river"
α Phoenicis Ankaa
Scorpius α Sco Antares
Boötes α Boo Arcturus
γ Virginis Arich
α Cygni Arided
β Sagittarii Arkab
β-1 Sagittarii Arkab Prior
β-2 Sagittarii Arkab Posterior
η Capricorni Armus
α Leporis Arneb
μ Draconis Arrakis, Alrakis, Elrakis Arabic al-rāqiṣ "the dancer"
ζ Sagittarii Ascella
δ Cancri Asellus Australis
γ Cancri Asellus Borealis
θ Bootis Asellus Primus
ι Bootis Asellus Secundus
κ Bootis Asellus Tertius
ε Hydrae Ashlesha
ζ Sagittarii Askella
ι Carinae Aspidiske
β Canum Venaticorum Asterion
21 Tauri Asterope one of the Pleiades
ο Persei Atik
27 Tauri Atlas one of the Pleiades
α Trianguli Australis Atria
δ Virginis Auva
ε Carinae Avior
ζ Aurigae Azaleh
π-1 Cygni Azelfafage variously reported as from Arabic ‏السلحفاة as-sulaḥfāh "turtle", ألطلف ألفرس al thīlf al faras "horse track", or ألعزل ألدجاجة al ʽazal al-dajājah "tail of hen"[citation needed]
Eridanus η Eri Azha from Arabic اشيانة al-udhi "the hatching-place"
ξ Puppis Azmidiske
θ Pegasi Baham
ζ Ceti Baten Kaitos
β Crucis Becrux, Mimosa "Becrux" is a modern contraction of the Bayer designation[by whom?]
Eridanus ο1 Eri Beid from Arabic بيض al-bayd "the eggs"
γ Orionis Bellatrix
η Ursae Majoris Benetnasch
α Orionis Betelgeuse
β Trianguli Australis Betria
θ Pegasi Biham
5 Tauri Birhan Isat one of the Pleiades
Aries δ Arietis Botein
σ Librae Brachium
ξ Aquarii Bunda
Carina α Car Canopus Ptolemy's Κάνωβος, after Canopus (Kanopos, Kanobos), a pilot from Greek mythology, whose name is itself of uncertain etymology.
α Aurigae Capella
Cassiopeia β Cas Caph Arabic كف kaf "palm", a residue of an old name of Cassiopeia, al-kaff al-khadib "the stained hand"; also known as al-sanam al-nakah "the camel's hump".
α Geminorum Castor
β Ophiuchi Cebalrai
16 Tauri Celaeno one of the Pleiades
α Canum Venaticorum, or sometimes Chara
β Canum Venaticorum Chara
β Ophiuchi Cheleb
θ Leonis Chertan
θ Leonis Chort
β Serpentis Chow
α Canum Venaticorum Cor Caroli named after Charles I of England by Sir Charles Scarborough
Eridanus β Eri Cursa from Arabic الكرسي al-kursi "the chair, footstool"
β Capricorni Dabih
δ Crucis Decrux "Decrux" is a modern contraction of the Bayer designation[by whom?]
α Cygni Deneb
δ Capricorni Deneb Algedi
ε Delphini Deneb Dulfim
ζ Aquilae Deneb el Okab
β Ceti Deneb Kaitos
ι Ceti Deneb Kaitos Schemali
β Leonis Denebola
η Ceti Dheneb
α Comae Berenices Diadem
β Ceti Diphda
ι Ursae Majoris Dnoces
Scorpius δ Sco Dschubba
α Ursae Majoris Dubhe
δ Leonis Duhr
ι Draconis Edasich
17 Tauri Electra one of the Pleiades
α Trianguli Elmuthalleth
β Tauri Elnath one of the Pleiades
ε Pegasi Enif
γ Cephei Errai
γ Draconis Etamin, Eltanin from the Arabic name of the constellation, التنين At-Tinnin "the great serpent". γ Dra was also one of the "Five Camels", Quinque Dromedarii, in Arabic Al ʽAwāïd.
α Piscis Austrinus Fomalhaut Arabic فم الحوت fum al-ḥawt "mouth of the fish"
β Piscium Fum al Samakah
ζ Canis Majoris Furud
γ Crucis Gacrux The name "Gacrux" is a contraction of the Bayer designation, coined by astronomer Elijah Hinsdale Burritt (1794-1838).[5][6]
μ Cephei Garnet Star Its colour was described as "garnet" by William Herschel. Following Herschel, it was called garnet sidus by Giuseppe Piazzi
γ Trianguli Australis Gatria
α Coronae Borealis Gemma
λ Draconis Gianfar
α Capricorni Giedi
γ Corvi Gienah Gurab
ε Cygni Giennah
Scorpius κ Sco Girtab
β Canis Minoris Gomeisa
ρ Persei Gorgonea Tertia
ξ Draconis Grumium
β Centauri Hadar
σ Puppis Hadir
ζ Aurigae Haedus
ε Aurigae Haldus
Aries α Ari Hamal, Ras Hammel from Arabic راس الحمل rās al-ħamal "head of the ram", also known as "the head of Aries".
ι Aurigae Hassaleh
α Hydri Head of Hydrus
λ Orionis Heka
ζ Virginis Heze
ζ Aurigae Hoedus (I)
η Aurigae Hoedus II
ζ Pegasi Homam
γ Tauri Hyadum I
δ-1 Tauri Hyadum II
ζ Hydrae Hydrobius
Scorpius ν Sco Jabbah
κ Pegasi Jih
ι Aurigae Kabdhilinan
γ Ceti Kaffaljidhma
ω Herculis Kajam
ε Capricorni Kastra
ε Sagittarii Kaus Australis
λ Sagittarii Kaus Borealis
δ Sagittarii Kaus Media
Eridanus ο2 Eri (40 Eri) Keid from Arabic القيض al-qaid "the broken egg-shells"
α Equulei Kitα
δ-3 Tauri Kleeia
β Ursae Minoris Kochab
β Herculis Kornephoros
β Corvi Kraz
Cassiopeia δ Cas Rukbah, Rucbah; Ksora[citation needed] Arabic ركبة rukbah "knee"
η Piscium Kullat Nunu
ν Draconis Kuma
β Librae Lanx Australis
Y Canum Venaticorum La Superba A modern (19th century) name, due to Angelo Secchi
Scorpius υ Sco Lesath
α Vulpeculae Lucida Anseris
λ Herculis Maasym
θ Aurigae Mahasim
20 Tauri Maia one of the Pleiades
Cassiopeia θ Cas Marfark Arabic المرفق al-mirfaq "the elbow"
λ Ophiuchi Marfik
α Pegasi and HR 2948 Markab
η Pegasi Matar
ε Geminorum Mebsuta
δ Sagittarii Media
δ Ursae Majoris Megrez
λ Orionis Meissa
ζ Geminorum Mekbuda
ξ Persei Menchib
α Ceti Menkab
β Aurigae Menkalinan
α Ceti Menkar
θ Centauri Menkent
ζ Persei Menkib
β Ursae Majoris Merak
38 Boötis Merga
23 Tauri Merope one of the Pleiades
Aries γ Arietis Mesarthim
β Carinae Miaplacidus
σ Hydrae Minchir
δ Virginis Minelava
ε Corvi Minkar
δ Orionis Mintaka
ο Ceti Mira
β Andromedae Mirach
η Persei Miram
α Persei Mirfak
β Canis Majoris Mirzam
κ Persei Misam
ζ Ursae Majoris Mizar from Arabic المئزر al-miʾzar "apron, waistband, girdle"
α Trianguli Mothallah
γ Centauri, γ Canis Majoris Muliphein
η Bootis Muphrid, Mufrid
β Canis Majoris Murzim
ο Ursae Majoris Muscida
π-1 Ursae Majoris, or Muscida
π-2 Ursae Majoris Muscida
ι Orionis Nair Al Saif
ζ Puppis Naos
γ Sagittarii Nash
γ Capricorni Nashira
Cassiopeia γ Cas Navi "Navi" is a modern name, due to Gus Grissom (his middle name "Ivan" spelled backward). In Chinese astronomy, it is known as "the whip".
β Boötis Nekkar
51 Andromedae (υ Persei) Nembus
μ Leporis Neshmet
β Leporis Nihal
σ Sagittarii Nunki
β Coronae Borealis Nusakan
π Capricorni Okul
α Pavonis Peacock Designated "Peacock" (after the constellation) by Her Majesty's Nautical Almanac Office in the 1930s.
α Columbae Phact
γ Ursae Majoris Phad (or Phecda, Phekda)
γ Ursae Minoris Pherkad
δ Ursae Minoris Pherkard
28 Tauri Pleione one of the Pleiades
Ursa Minor α UMi Polaris; Cynosure; north star, pole star, lodestar, etc. Latin stella polaris, stella maris; Sanskrit dhruva tāra "fixed star"; Arabic al-kutb al-shamaliyy "the northern axle", among others.
σ Octantis Polaris Australis
β Geminorum Pollux
γ Virginis Porrima
46 Leonis Minoris Praecipua
Canis Minor α CMi Procyon Greek προκύον "preceding the Dog (viz. Sirius)"; in Latin rendered as Antecanis.
η Geminorum Propus
Boötes ε Boo Pulcherrima, Izar "Izar" is from Arabic إزار izār "veil". In the Calendarium of Al Achsasi Al Mouakket designated (منتقة ألعوع minṭáqa al awwa, translated into Latin as Cingulum Latratoris "belt of barker"
Eridanus δ Eri Rana Latin rana "frog".[year needed]
α Herculis Ras Algethi
α Ophiuchi Ras Alhague
ε Leonis Ras Elased Australis
μ Leonis Rasalas
β Draconis Rastaban
α Geminorum Ras Thaoum
γ Velorum Regor
α Leonis Regulus
β Orionis Rigel
Centaurus α Cen Rigil Kentaurus from Arabic rijl qantūris رجل قنطورس "foot of the centaur". Also "Proxima Centauri".
μ Virginis Rijl al Awwa
β Delphini Rotanev
ω² Cygni Ruchba
α Sagittarii Rukbat
η Ophiuchi Sabik
γ Aquarii Sadachbia
μ Pegasi Sadalbari
α Aquarii Sadalmelik
β Aquarii Sadalsuud
ζ Aurigae Sadatoni
γ Cygni Sadr
κ Orionis Saiph
τ Pegasi Salm
θ Sco Sargas
δ Herculis Sarin
θ Ursae Majoris Sarir
ε Leporis Sasin
Eridanus 53 Eri Sceptrum formerly "p Sceptri", in the constellation of Sceptrum Brandenburgicum
β Pegasi Scheat
δ Capricorni Scheddi
Cassiopeia α Cas Schedir, Schedar from Arabic صدر şadr "breast"; also ألضة ألكرسي al-dhāt al-kursiyy "the lady in the chair (Ulug Beg), whence Dath Elkarti (Riccoli 1651)
Cassiopeia ε Cas Segin[citation needed]
γ Bootis Seginus
α Sagittae Sham
λ Sco Shaula
β Lyrae Sheliak
Aries β Arietis Sheratan
ν Ophiuchi Sinistra
Canis Major α CMa Sirius, Dog Star Greek Σείριος "the scorcher"; in Egyptian Sopdet, rendered in Greek as Σῶθις. As the brightest star in the sky, Sirius has proper names in numerous cultures, including Polynesian (Maori Takurua; Hawaiian Ka'ulua, "Queen of Heaven", among others).
κ Aquarii Situla
δ Aquarii Skat
α Virginis Spica, Azimech In Indian astronomy known as Chitra "the bright one"
22 Tauri Sterope
α Delphini Sualocin
ο Leonis Subra
λ Velorum Suhail
γ Lyrae Sulafat
ι Virginis Syrma
π-3 Orionis Tabit
κ Ursae Majoris Talitha Australis
ι Ursae Majoris Talitha Borealis
μ Ursae Majoris Tania Australis
λ Ursae Majoris Tania Borealis
γ Aquilae Tarazet, Tarazed
19 Tauri Taygeta[citation needed]
ζ Cancri Tegmen, Tegmine
ω Sagittarii Terebellum from Ptolemy's τετράπλευρον, a quadrangle of stars of which ω Sag is the brightest
μ Geminorum Tejat Posterior
η Geminorum Tejat Prior
υ Orionis Thabit
Eridanus υ-2 Eri Theemin, Beemin[citation needed]
α Draconis Thuban
Taurus ζ Tau Tien Kwan Chinese 天關, tiānguān "celestial gate". Also reported as Shurnarkabtishashutu, from the Arabic for under the southern horn of the bull.[by whom?]
ο Piscium Torcularis Septentrionalis
π Puppis Tureis
ε Draconis Tyl
α Serpentis Unuk or Unukalhai
ξ Tauri Ushakaron
Lyra α Lyr Vega from Arabic an-nasr al-wāqi‘ "the alighting vulture", also translated as vulture cadens (see also Aetos Dios, Stymphalian birds). As the second brightest star in the sky, Vega has names in numerous cultures. Chinese 織女 "weaving girl".
Virgo ε Vir Vindemiatrix Vindemiatrix^ is the Latin for "grape gatherer"
δ Geminorum Wasat
β Columbae Wazn
δ Canis Majoris Wezen
δ Ophiuchi Yed Prior
ε Ophiuchi Yed Posterior
δ Ursae Minoris Yildun
η Virginis Zaniah
Eridanus γ Eri Zaurak, Zaurac from Arabic زورق zawraq "boat"
β Virginis Zavijava
δ Leonis Zosma
γ Librae Zuben-el-Akrab
δ Librae Zuben-el-Akribi
α Librae Zubenelgenubi
β Librae Zuben-el-schemali or Zubeneschamali

References

  1. ^ The NASA in 1971 compiled a "technical memorandum" collecting a total of 537 named stars.
  2. ^ a b c d Allen, Richard Hinckley (2003). Star Names and Their Meanings. New York: Kessinger. p. 219. ISBN 978-0766140288. OCLC 637168084. 
  3. ^ "Eta Cassiopeia (Achird) 2". SolStation.com. http://www.solstation.com/stars/eta-cass.htm. Retrieved 2011-11-03. 
  4. ^ Kaler, Jim. "Achird". Department of Astronomy, University of Illinois. http://stars.astro.illinois.edu/sow/achird.html. Retrieved 2011-11-03. 
  5. ^ "Gacrux/Gamma Crucis 2?". SolStation.com. http://www.solstation.com/stars2/gacrux2.htm. Retrieved 2011-11-03. 
  6. ^ Lesikar, Arnold V.. "Gacrux". Dome Of The Sky. http://domeofthesky.com/clicks/gacrux.html. Retrieved 2011-11-03. 
  • Kunitzsch, Paul and Smart, Tim, A Dictionary of Modern Star Names (2006).
  • Richard Hinckley Allen, Star Names: Their Lore and Meaning (1899).
  • Technical Memorandum 33-507 - A Reduced Star Catalog Containing 537 Named Stars, NASA-CR-124573 (1971)

See also

External links


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