Astrological names of stars

Celestial Coordinates A grid system for locating things in the sky. Declination and right ascension are the celestial equivalents of latitude and longitude. Circumpolar Denotes an object near a celestial pole that never dips below the horizon as Earth rotates and thus does not rise or set. Collimation Aligning the optical elements of a telescope so that they all point in the proper direction. Most reflectors and compound telescopes require occasional collimation in order to produce the best possible images.


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When close to the Sun, the warmth evaporates the ice in the nucleus to form a coma cloud of gas and a tail. Named for their discoverers, comets sometimes make return visits after as little as a few years or as long as tens of thousands of years.


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Compound Telescope A telescope with a mirror in the back and a lens in the front. Conjunction When the Moon or a planet appears especially close either to another planet or to a bright star. Constellation A distinctive pattern of stars used informally to organize a part of the sky. There are 88 official constellations, which technically define sections of the sky rather than collections of specific stars.

Culmination The moment when a celestial object crosses the meridian and is thus at its highest above the horizon. Dark adaptation is rapid during the first 5 or 10 minutes after you leave a well-lit room, but full adaptation requires at least a half hour — and it can be ruined by a momentary glance at a bright light. Declination Dec. The celestial equivalent of latitude, denoting how far in degrees an object in the sky lies north or south of the celestial equator.

Dobs provide more aperture per dollar than any other telescope design. Double Star Binary Star Two stars that lie very close to, and are often orbiting, each other. Many stars are multiples doubles, triples, or more gravitationally bound together. Usually such stars orbit so closely that they appear as a single point of light even when viewed through professional telescopes. Earthshine Sunlight reflected by Earth that makes the otherwise dark part of the Moon glow faintly.

Eccentricity The measure of how much an orbit deviates from being circular. Eclipse An event that occurs when the shadow of a planet or moon falls upon a second body. Ecliptic The path among the stars traced by the Sun throughout the year. The Moon and planets never stray far from the ecliptic. Elongation The angular distance the Moon or a planet is from the Sun. The inner planets of Mercury and Venus are best seen when at maximum elongation, and thus are highest above the horizon before sunrise or after sunset. Ephemeris A timetable with celestial coordinates that indicates where a planet, comet, or other body moving in relation to background stars will be in the sky.

Its plural is ephemerides pronounced eff-uh-MEHR-ih-deez. On an equinox date, day and night are of equal length. Eyepiece The part of a telescope that you look into. Field of View The circle of sky that you see when you look through a telescope or binoculars.

Generally, the lower the magnification, the wider the field of view. Finderscope A small telescope used to aim your main scope at an object in the sky. Finderscopes have low magnifications, wide fields of view, and usually crosshairs marking the center of the field. Focal Length The distance usually expressed in millimeters from a mirror or lens to the image that it forms.

In most telescopes the focal length is roughly equal to the length of the tube. Histogram A plot of the number of pixels in an image at each brightness level. Inclination The angle between the plane of an orbit and a reference plane. Libration A slight tipping and tilting of the Moon from week to week that brings various features along the limb into better view.

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Light Pollution A glow in the night sky or around your observing site caused by artificial light. It greatly reduces how many stars you can see. Special light-pollution filters can be used with your telescope to improve the visibility of celestial objects. Light-year The distance that light moving at about , miles per second travels in one year, or about 6 trillion miles. Magnification power The amount that a telescope enlarges its subject.

Magnitude A number denoting the brightness of a star or other celestial object. The higher the magnitude, the fainter the object. For example, a 1st-magnitude star is times brighter than a 6th-magnitude star. Meridian The imaginary north-south line that passes directly overhead through the zenith. Messier object An entry in a catalog of star clusters, nebulas, and galaxies compiled by French comet hunter Charles Messier mess-YAY between and The modern-day Messier catalog contains objects. Milky Way A broad, faintly glowing band stretching across the night sky, composed of billions of stars in our galaxy too faint to be seen individually.

Mount The device that supports your telescope, allows it to point to different parts of the sky, and lets you track objects as Earth rotates. Dark nebulas are not lit up and are visible only because they block the light of stars behind them. Occultation When the Moon or a planet passes directly in front of a more distant planet or star.

A grazing occultation occurs if the background body is never completely hidden from the observer. Opposition When a planet or asteroid is opposite the Sun in the sky. At such times the object is visible all night — rising at sunset and setting at sunrise. Parallax The apparent offset of a foreground object against the background when your perspective changes. Washington Double Star Catalog is not explicitly listed, the WGSN says that the name should be understood to be attributed to the brightest component by visual brightness.

Before the 16th century, this was the last star in the Eridanus constellation; it was later extended to Achernar, below. The source of the name Albireo is not entirely clear. Member of the Pleiades open star cluster M Alcyone was one of the Pleiades sisters in Greek mythology. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Star portal. Biblical names of stars List of Arabic star names List of nearest bright stars List of proper names of exoplanets NameExoWorlds Stars named after people Table of stars with Bayer designations Traditional Chinese star names.

In some cases, the result is not a possible combination of sounds in English. Webster's dictionary, Rumrill and Davis may attempt to render the original Arabic pronunciation using English sounds as approximations, and not distinguish that pseudo-Arabic pronunciation from an English pronunciation that people actually use.

Kunitzsch and the OED do try to distinguish these two cases.

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Naming Stars

Where sources disagree on Latinized Arabic names, the form closest to the traditional English pronunciation of Latin is followed, with the assumption that the usually unmarked Latin vowel length is as faithful to Arabic as it is to Greek. Retrieved 17 June Retrieved 22 May Retrieved 28 July Retrieved 16 December Retrieved Cambridge, Massachusetts: Sky Pub. June Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific.

San Francisco, California. Popular Astronomy. Oxford University Press. September Originally published in: BS Bibcode : yCat. Walter M. Lowrie: missionary to China , p.

Described as an "Americanism" in The Geographical Journal , vol. Allen, Richard Hinckley Star-names and their meanings.


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The Mythology of the Night Sky. Patrick Moore's Practical Astronomy Series. PLOS One. Bibcode : PLoSO..

A to Z of Astronomy

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. Slaney, Kathleen L. Sugarman, Jeff. United Kingdom Hydrographic Office. Journal for the History of Astronomy. Bibcode : JHA Burnham's Celestial Handbook , Volume 1, p.