List of Arabic star names

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This is a list of traditional Arabic names for stars. In Western astronomy, most of the accepted star names are Arabic, a few are Greek and some are of unknown origin. Typically only bright stars have names.[1]

History of Arabic star names[edit]

Very old star names originated among people who lived in the Arabian Peninsula more than a thousand years ago, before the rise of Islam. However, many Arabic language star names sprang up later in history, as translations of ancient Greek language descriptions.

The astronomer Claudius Ptolemy in his Almagest (2nd century) tabulated the celestial position and brightness (visual magnitude) of 1,025 stars. Ptolemy's book was translated into Arabic in the 8th and 9th centuries and became famous in Europe as a 12th-century Latin translation. Many of the Arabic-language star descriptions in the Almagest came to be widely used as names for stars.

Ptolemy used a strategy of "figure reference" to identify stars according to their position within a familiar constellation or asterism (e.g., "in the right shoulder of The Hunter"). Muslim astronomers adopted some of these as proper names for stars, and added names from traditional Arabic star lore, which they recorded in various Zij treatises. The most notable of these is the Book of Fixed Stars written by the Muslim astronomer Abd al-Rahman al-Sufi (known as Azophi in the West), who thoroughly illustrated all the stars known to him along with their observations, descriptions, positions, magnitudes, brightness, and color.

In Europe, during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, many ancient star names were copied or translated incorrectly by various writers, some of whom did not know the Arabic language very well. As a result, the history of a star's name can be complicated.[2]

A[edit]

Common name Arabic name (transliteration) Meaning Arabic name
Acamar Akhir an-Nahr End of the river آخر النهر
Achernar Akhir an-Nahr End of the river آخر النهر
Acrab Al-'Aqrab The scorpion عقرب
Acubens Az-Zubana The claw الزبانى
Adhafera Ad-Dafirah The curl "Plexus" الضفيرة
Adhara Al-'Adhara The maidens "Virgins" العذارى
Adib Al-dhi’b The wolf الذئب
Adhil Al-Dhayl The tail الذيل
Ain 'Ain the "eye" of the Bull "Eye" عين
Albali Al-Bali' The swallower البالع
Alchibah Al-Khiba' The tent الخباء
Aldebaran Al-Dabaran "The follower" of the Pleiades الدبران
Alderamin Adh-Dhira' al-Yamin The right arm الذراع الأيمن
Alfirk Al-Firq The flock "Difference" الفرق
Algedi Al-Jady The goat "Capricorn" الجدي
Algenib Al-Janb The flank "Side" الجنب
Algieba Al-Jabhah "The forehead" of the lion "Front" الجبهة
Algebar Al-Jabbar The giant الجبّار
Algol Al-Ghul The ghoul رأس الغول
Algorab Al-Ghurab The raven الغراب
Alhena Al-Han'ah The mark of the brand الهنعة
Alioth Al-Jawn The black horse "John" الجون
Alkaid Al-Qa'id "The leader" of the mourning maidens "Commander" القائد
Alkes Al-Ka's The cup الكأس
Almak 'Anaq al-Ard The caracal "Hug the Ground" عناق الأرض
Almeisan Al-Maisan The shining one "Libration" الميسان
Alnair An-Nayyir The bright one "Yoke" النّيّر
Alnilam An-Nidham The string of pearls "Systems" النّظم
Alnitak An-Nitaq The belt "Scale" النطاق
Alnasl Al-nasl The arrowhead "Blade" النصل
Alphard Al-Fard The solitary one "Individual" الفرد
Alphecca Al-Fakkah "The broken" ring of stars "Humorous" الفكة
Alpheratz Surrat al-Faras The navel of the stallion "Navel Persians" سُرَّة الفرس
Alrescha Al-Risha' The ropes الرشاء
Alsafi Al-Athafi The tripods for cooking on Sigma "Andiron" الأثافي
Alsuhail Suhail Canopus سهيل
Altair (Al-Nasr) At-Ta'ir the flying (eagle) النّسر الطّائر
Altais At-Tais The great serpent "Goat" التيس
Alterf At-Tarf "The glance" of the lion "Party" الطرف
Aludra Al-'Udhrah The maidenhead "Faces" العذرة
Alula Australis, Alula Borealis (Al-Qafzah) al-Ula the first (leap) القفزة الأولى
Alya Al-Alyah The fatty tail of a sheep "Mechanism" الألية
Angetenar 'Arjat an-Nahr Curve of the river "Winding River" عرجة النهر
Ankaa Al-'Anka' Phoenix العنقاء
Arkab Al-'Urqub The heel-tendon "Achilles" العرقوب
Arneb Al-Arnab The hare الأرنب
Arrakis Ar-Raqis The dancer الراقص
Atik Al-'Atiq "The shoulder" of the Pleiades "Responsibility Chandelier" عاتق الثّريّا
Auva Al-'Awwa' The barker "Howl" العوّاء
Azha Al-Udhi The hatching-place أزهى

B[edit]

Common name Arabic name (transliteration) Meaning Arabic name
Baham Al-Biham The livestock سعد البهام
Baten Kaitos Batn Qaytus Belly of Cetus بطن قيطس
Beid Al-Baid The eggs بيض
Benetnash Banat Na'sh Daughters of the bier بنات النعش
Betelgeuse Ibet al-Jauza' Armpit of the Central One إبط الجوزاء
Botein Al-Butayn The little belly بطين

C[edit]

Common name Arabic name (transliteration) Meaning Arabic name
Caph Al-Kaff "The palm" of the Pleiades الكـــف الخضيب
Celbalrai Kalb ar-Ra'i The shepherd's dog كلب الراعي
Chort Al-Kharat The rib الخرت
Cursa Al-Kursi The chair الكرسي

D[edit]

Common name Arabic name (transliteration) Meaning Arabic name
Dabih Sa'd adh-dhabih The lucky star of "the slaughterer" سّعد الذّابح
Deneb Dhanab ad-Dajajah Tail of the fowl ذنب الدجاجة
Deneb Dulfim Dhanab ad-Dulfin Tail of the Dolphin ذنب الدّلفين
Deneb Algedi Dhanab al-Jady Tail of the goat ذنب الجدي
Deneb Kaitos Dhanab Qaytus Tail of Cetus ذنب قيطس
Denebola Dhanab al-Asad Tail of the lion ذنب الاسد
Diphda Ad-Difda' Al-awwal The first frog الضّفدع الأوّل
Dschubba Al-Jabhah "The forehead" of the scorpion الجبهة
Dubhe Kahil Ad-Dubb The back of the bear كاهل الدّب
Dziban Adh-Dhi'ban The two wolves الذئبان

E[edit]

Common name Arabic name (transliteration) Meaning Arabic name
Edasich Adh-Dhikh The hyena الذّيخ
El Nath An-Nath The butting النطح
Eltanin At-Tinnin The great serpent التنين
Enif Al-Anf The nose الأنف
Errai Ar-Ra'i The shepherd الراعي

F[edit]

Common name Arabic name (transliteration) Meaning Arabic name
Fomalhaut Fum al-Hut Mouth of the whale فم الحوت
Furud Al-Furud "Individual" stars الفرد

G[edit]

Common name Arabic name (transliteration) Meaning Arabic name
Gienah Al-Janah The wing الجناح
Gomeisa Al-Ghumaisa' The bleary-eyed one الغميصاء

H[edit]

Common name Arabic name (transliteration) Meaning Arabic name
Hadar Hadar Civilization حضار
Hamal Al-Hamal The ram نيّر الحمل
Heka Al-Haq'ah The white spot الهقعة
Homam Sa'd al-humam The lucky star of "the high-minded سعد الهمام

I[edit]

Common name Arabic name (transliteration) Meaning Arabic name
Izar Al-Izar The girdle, or, The loin-cloth الإزار

J[edit]

Common name Arabic name (transliteration) Meaning Arabic name
Jabbah Al-Jabhah "The forehead" of the scorpion الجبهة

K[edit]

Common name Arabic name (transliteration) Meaning Arabic name
Kabdhilinan Kaab-Dhil-E'nan The rein hold كعب ذي العنان
Kaffaljidhma Al-Kaff al-Jadhma' The cut-short hand الكف الجذماء
Kaus Australis, Kaus Borealis, Kaus Media Al-Qaus the bow القوس
Keid Al-Qaid The broken egg-shells القيض
Kitalpha Qit'at al-Faras Part of the horse قطعة الفرس
Kochab Al-Kaukab Planet كوكب
Kurhah Al-Qurhah "The blaze" on a horse's brow القرحة

L[edit]

Common name Arabic name (transliteration) Meaning Arabic name
Lesath al-Las`ah The sting اللسعة
Luh-Denebola / Denebola Dhanab al-Asad/al-Layth the lion's tail ذنب الاسد/الليث

M[edit]

Common name Arabic name (transliteration) Meaning Arabic name
Maasym Al-Mi'sam The wrist معصم الثّريّا
Maaz Al-Ma'z The he-goat المعز
Marfik Al-Mirfaq The elbow المرفق
Markab Mankib al-Faras "The shoulder" of the horse منكب الفرس
Matar Sa'd Matar The lucky star of "the rain" سعد مطر
Mebsuta Al-Mabsutah "The outstretched" paw الذّراع المبسوطه
Megrez Al-Maghriz "The insertion-point" of the Bear's مغرز
Meissa Al-Maisan The shining one الميسان
Mekbuda Al-Maqbudah "The pulled-in" paw الذّراع المقبوضة
Menkalinan Mankib Dhi-al-'Inan Shoulder of the rein-holder منكب ذي العنان
Menkar Al-Minkhar The nostril المنخر
Menkent Mankib Kentaurus The nostril منكب قنطورس
Menkib Al-Mankib "The shoulder" of the Pleiades منكب الثّريّا
Merak Al-Maraqq The loins المراق
Mintaka Al-Mintaqah The belt المنطقة
Mirak Al-Mi'zar The loin-cloth المراق
Mirfak Al-Mirfaq "The elbow" of the Pleiades مرفق الثّريّا
Mizar miʾzar apron المئزر
Mothallah Al-Muthallath The triangle المثلث
Muphrid Al-Mufrid The solitary one المفرد
Murzim Al-Murzim The roarer المرزم

N[edit]

Common name Arabic name (transliteration) Meaning Arabic name
Nashira Sa`d Nashirah Lucky star of Nashirah سعد ناشرة
Nekkar al-Baqqar The cattleman البقار
Nushaba / Alnasl an-Nasl The arrowhead النصل / نشابة
Nihal an-Nihal The camels quenching their thirst النهال
Nusakan an-Nusaqan The two series النسقان

O[edit]

Common name Arabic name (transliteration) Meaning Arabic name
Okda al-`Uqdah The knot العقدة

P[edit]

Common name Arabic name (transliteration) Meaning Arabic name
Phact Al-Fakhitah The dove فاخثة
Phad Al-Fakhidh The thigh فخذ
Pherkad Al-Farqad The calf فرقد

R[edit]

Common name Arabic name (transliteration) Meaning Arabic name
Rasalased Ra's al-Assad Head of the lion رأس الأسد
Rasalgethi Ra's al-Jathi Head of the kneeling one رأس الجاثي
Rasalhague Ra's al-Hawwa' Head of the snake-man رأس الحوّاء
Rastaban Ra's ath-Thu`ban Head of the snake رأس الثعبان
Rigel Rijl al-Jabbar Foot of the giant رجل الجبّار
Rigilkent Rijl al-Qanturus Foot of the centaur رجل القنطورس
Risha Ar-Risha' The rope الرشاء
Rukbah Ar-Rukbah The knee الركبة
Rukbat Rukbat al-Rami Knee of the archer ركبة الرامي

S[edit]

Common name Arabic name (transliteration) Meaning Arabic name
Sabik as-Sabiq The preceding السابق
Sadachbia Sa`d al-Akhbiyah Lucky star of the tents سعد الاخبية
Sadalbari Sa`d al-Bari` Lucky star of the excellent one سعد البارع
Sadalmelik Sa`d al-Malik Lucky star of the king سعد الملك
Sadalsuud Sa`d as-Su`ud Luck of lucks سعد السعود
Sadr as-Sadr The breast الصدر
Saiph as-Saif The sword السيف
Scheat as-Sa`id The shoulder الساعد
Shaula ash-Shaulah The raised tail of the scorpion الشولة
Shedir as-Sadr The breast الصدر
Sheliak al-Shelaiyak - الشلياق
Sheratan ash-Sharatan The two signs الشرطان
Sirrah Surrat al-Faras Belly-button of the female horse سرة الفرس
Skat as-Saq The leg الساق
Sulafat as-Sulhafat The tortoise/turtle السلحفاة

T[edit]

Common name Arabic name (transliteration) Meaning Arabic name
Tania Australis, Tania Borealis Ath-Thaniyah the second (leap) القفزة الثّانية
Talitha Australis, Talitha Borealis Ath-Thalithah the third (leap) القفزة الثّالثة
Tarf At-Tarf "The glance" of the lion الطرف
Thuban Ath-Thu'ban The snake الثعبان
Pleiades Ath-Thuraya The height and brightness الثريا

U[edit]

Common name Arabic name (transliteration) Meaning Arabic name
Unukalhai `Unuq al-Hayyah Neck of the snake عنق الحية

V[edit]

Common name Arabic name (transliteration) Meaning Arabic name
Vega Al-Waqi' "The stooping" eagle النسر الواقع

W[edit]

Common name Arabic name (transliteration) Meaning Arabic name
Wasat Wasat as-Sama' "Middle" of the sky وسط السماء
Wezen al-Wazen The weight الوزن

Y[edit]

Common name Arabic name (transliteration) Meaning Arabic name
Yed Prior Al-Yad The preceding one of the Snake Man's hand مقدّم يدالحوّاء
Yed Posterior Al-Yad The succeeding one of the Snake Man's hand مؤخّر يدالحوّاء

Z[edit]

Common name Arabic name (transliteration) Meaning Arabic name
Zawiah Az-Zawiyah The angle الزاوية
Zaurac Az-Zawraq The boat الزورق
Zavijava Zawiyat al-`Awwa' The angle of al `awa' زاوية العواء
Zubenelgenubi Az-Zuban al-Janubi "Southern Claw" زبانى/الزبان الجنوبي
Zubeneshamali Az-Zuban ash-Shamali "Northern Claw" زبانى/الزبان الشمالي

Others[edit]

Common name Arabic name (transliteration) Meaning Arabic name
Milky Way Darb Al-Tabanah The Milky Road درب التبانة
Andromeda Galaxy "small cloud"[3][4] "little cloud" was the Arabic name for the Andromeda Galaxy, which was first mentioned by Al-Sufi in his Book of Fixed Stars السحابة الصغيرة

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Stargazing Network". Stargazing.net. Retrieved 2011-10-05. 
  2. ^ "Star Names: Where Do They Come From? And Can You Buy One?", RMSC Strasenburgh Planetarium Information Bulletin #19 December 1996, (archived 2007)
  3. ^ Henbest, N.; Couper, H. (1994). The guide to the galaxy. p. 31. ISBN 0-521-45882-X. 
  4. ^ Kepple, G. R.; Sanner, G. W. (1998). The Night Sky Observer's Guide. Vol. 1. Willmann-Bell. p. 18. ISBN 0-943396-58-1. 

External links[edit]