88 modern constellations

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Equirectangular plot of declination vs right ascension of the modern constellations with a dotted line denoting the ecliptic. Constellations are colour-coded by family and year established. (detailed view)

In modern astronomy, the sky (celestial sphere) is divided into 88 regions called constellations, generally based on the asterisms (which are also called "constellations") of Greek and Roman mythology. Those along the ecliptic are the constellations of the zodiac.

The ancient Sumerians, and later the Greeks (as recorded by Ptolemy), established most of the northern constellations in international use today. When explorers mapped the stars of the southern skies, European and American astronomers proposed new constellations for that region, as well as ones to fill gaps between the traditional constellations. Not all of these proposals caught on, but in 1922, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) adopted the modern list of 88 constellations.[1] After this, Eugène Joseph Delporte drew up precise boundaries for each constellation,[1] so that every point in the sky belonged to exactly one constellation.

History[edit]

Some constellations are no longer recognized by the International Astronomical Union, 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[edit]

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

Constellation IAU abbreviation[1] Other abbreviation[2] Genitive Family Origin Meaning Brightest star
Andromeda
/ænˈdrɒmdə/[3]
And Andr Andromedae
/ænˈdrɒmd/
Perseus ancient (Ptolemy) Andromeda (The chained lady or the Princess) Alpheratz
Antlia
/ˈæntliə/[3]
Ant Antl Antliae
/ˈæntli/
La Caille 1763, Lacaille air pump α Antliae
Apus
/ˈpəs/[4]
Aps Apus Apodis
/ˈæpds/[4]
Bayer 1603, Uranometria, created by Keyser and de Houtman Bird-of-paradise/Exotic Bird/Extraordinary Bird α Apodis
Aquarius
/əˈkwɛəriəs/[3]
Aqr Aqar Aquarii
/əˈkwɛəri/
Zodiac ancient (Ptolemy) water-bearer Sadalsuud
Aquila
/ˈækwlə/[3]
Aql Aqil Aquilae
/ˈækwl/
Hercules ancient (Ptolemy) eagle Altair
Ara
/ˈɛərə/[4]
Ara Arae Arae
/ˈɛər/[4]
Hercules ancient (Ptolemy) altar β Arae
Aries
/ˈɛərz, ˈɛərɪz/[3][4]
Ari Arie Arietis
/əˈrts/[4]
Zodiac ancient (Ptolemy) ram Hamal
Auriga
/ɔːˈrɡə/[3][4]
Aur Auri Aurigae
/ɔːˈr/[4]
Perseus ancient (Ptolemy) charioteer Capella
Boötes
/bˈtz/[3]
Boo Boot Boötis
/bˈts/
Ursa Major ancient (Ptolemy) herdsman Arcturus
Caelum
/ˈsləm/[4]
Cae Cael Caeli
/ˈsl/[4]
La Caille 1763, Lacaille chisel or graving tool α Caeli
Camelopardalis
/kəˌmɛlˈpɑːrdəls/[4]
Cam Caml Camelopardalis
/kəˌmɛlˈpɑːrdəls/[4]
Ursa Major 1613, Plancius[5] giraffe β Camelopardalis
Cancer
/ˈkænsər/[3]
Cnc Canc Cancri
/ˈkæŋkr/
Zodiac ancient (Ptolemy) crab Tarf
Canes Venatici
/ˈknz vˈnæts/[4]
CVn CVen Canum Venaticorum
/ˈknəm vnætˈkɒrəm/
Ursa Major 1690, Firmamentum Sobiescianum, Hevelius hunting dogs Cor Caroli
Canis Major
/ˈkns ˈmər/[4]
CMa CMaj Canis Majoris
/ˈkns məˈɒrs/
Orion ancient (Ptolemy) greater dog Sirius
Canis Minor
/ˈkns ˈmnər/[4]
CMi CMin Canis Minoris
/ˈkns mˈnɒrs/
Orion ancient (Ptolemy) lesser dog Procyon
Capricornus
/ˌkæprˈkɔːrnəs/[4]
Cap Capr Capricorni
/ˌkæprˈkɔːrn/[4]
Zodiac ancient (Ptolemy) sea goat Deneb Algiedi
Carina
/kəˈrnə/[3]
Car Cari Carinae
/kəˈrn/
Heavenly Waters 1763, Lacaille, split from Argo Navis keel Canopus
Cassiopeia
/ˌkæsiˈpə/[3][4]
Cas Cass Cassiopeiae
/ˌkæsiˈp/[4]
Perseus ancient (Ptolemy) Cassiopeia (mythological character) Shedir
Centaurus
/sɛnˈtɔːrəs/[3]
Cen Cent Centauri
/sɛnˈtɔːr/
Hercules ancient (Ptolemy) centaur Alpha Centauri
Cepheus
/ˈsfiəs, -fjuːs/[4]
Cep Ceph Cephei
/ˈsfi/[4]
Perseus ancient (Ptolemy) Cepheus (mythological character) Alderamin
Cetus
/ˈstəs/[4]
Cet Ceti Ceti
/ˈst/[4]
Perseus ancient (Ptolemy) sea monster (later interpreted as a whale) Deneb Kaitos
Chamaeleon
/kəˈmliən/[3]
Cha Cham Chamaeleontis
/kəˌmliˈɒnts/
Bayer 1603, Uranometria, created by Keyser and de Houtman chameleon α Chamaeleontis
Circinus
/ˈsɜːrsnəs/[3]
Cir Circ Circini
/ˈsɜːrsn/
La Caille 1763, Lacaille compass (drawing tool) α Circini
Columba
/kˈlʌmbə/[3]
Col Colm Columbae
/kˈlʌmb/
Heavenly Waters 1592, Plancius, split from Canis Major dove Phact
Coma Berenices
/ˈkmə bɛrəˈnsz/[4]
Com Coma Comae Berenices
/ˈkm bɛrəˈnsz/[4]
Ursa Major 1603, Uranometria, split from Leo Berenice's hair β Comae Berenices
Corona Australis[6]
/kˈrnə ɔːˈstræls, -ˈstr-/[3][4]
CrA CorA Coronae Australis
/kˈrn ɔːˈstræls/
Hercules ancient (Ptolemy) southern crown Alphekka Meridiana
Corona Borealis
/kˈrnə ˌbɔəriˈæls, -ˈls/[3][4]
CrB CorB Coronae Borealis
/kˈrn bɔəriˈæls/
Ursa Major ancient (Ptolemy) northern crown Alphecca
Corvus
/ˈkɔːrvəs/[3]
Crv Corv Corvi
/ˈkɔːrv/
Hercules ancient (Ptolemy) crow Gienah
Crater
/ˈkrtər/[3]
Crt Crat Crateris
/krəˈtɪərs/
Hercules ancient (Ptolemy) cup Labrum
Crux
/ˈkrʌks/[3]
Cru Cruc Crucis
/ˈkrss/
Hercules 1603, Uranometria, split from Centaurus southern cross Acrux
Cygnus
/ˈsɪɡnəs/[3]
Cyg Cygn Cygni
/ˈsɪɡn/
Hercules ancient (Ptolemy) swan or Northern Cross Deneb
Delphinus
/dɛlˈfnəs/[3]
Del Dlph Delphini
/dɛlˈfn/
Heavenly Waters ancient (Ptolemy) dolphin Rotanev
Dorado
/dəˈrɑːd/[7]
Dor Dora Doradus
/dˈrdəs/
Bayer 1603, Uranometria, created by Keyser and de Houtman goldfish α Doradus
Draco
/ˈdrk/[4]
Dra Drac Draconis
/drəˈkns/[4]
Ursa Major ancient (Ptolemy) dragon Etamin
Equuleus
/ˈkwliəs/[4]
Equ Equl Equulei
/ˈkwli/[4]
Heavenly Waters ancient (Ptolemy) pony Kitalpha
Eridanus
/ˈrɪdənəs/[4]
Eri Erid Eridani
/ˈrɪdən/[4]
Heavenly Waters ancient (Ptolemy) river Eridanus (mythology) Achernar
Fornax
/ˈfɔːrnæks/
For Forn Fornacis
/fɔːrˈnss/
La Caille 1763, Lacaille chemical furnace Fornacis
Gemini
/ˈɛmn/[3]
Gem Gemi Geminorum
/ˌɛmˈnɒrəm/
Zodiac ancient (Ptolemy) twins Pollux
Grus
/ˈɡrʌs/[4]
Gru Grus Gruis
/ˈɡrs/[4]
Bayer 1603, Uranometria, created by Keyser and de Houtman Crane Alnair
Hercules
/ˈhɜːrkjᵿlz/[4]
Her Herc Herculis
/ˈhɜːrkjᵿls/
Hercules ancient (Ptolemy) Hercules (mythological character) Kornephoros
Horologium
/ˌhɒrəˈlɒiəm, -ˈl-/[3][4]
Hor Horo Horologii
/ˌhɒrəˈli/
La Caille 1763, Lacaille pendulum clock α Horologii
Hydra
/ˈhdrə/[3]
Hya Hyda Hydrae
/ˈhdr/
Hercules ancient (Ptolemy) Hydra (mythological creature) Alphard
Hydrus
/ˈhdrəs/[3]
Hyi Hydi Hydri
/ˈhdr/
Bayer 1603, Uranometria, created by Keyser and de Houtman lesser water snake β Hydri
Indus
/ˈɪndəs/[3]
Ind Indi Indi
/ˈɪnd/
Bayer 1603, Uranometria, created by Keyser and de Houtman Indian (American indigenous) The Persian
Lacerta
/ləˈsɜːrtə/[3]
Lac Lacr Lacertae
/ləˈsɜːrt/
Perseus 1690, Firmamentum Sobiescianum, Hevelius lizard α Lacertae
Leo
/ˈl/[3]
Leo Leon Leonis
/lˈns/
Zodiac ancient (Ptolemy) lion Regulus
Leo Minor
/ˈl ˈmnər/[3]
LMi LMin Leonis Minoris
/lˈns mˈnɒrs/
Ursa Major 1690, Firmamentum Sobiescianum, Hevelius lesser lion Praecipua
Lepus
/ˈlpəs/[4]
Lep Leps Leporis
/ˈlɛpərs/[3][4]
Orion ancient (Ptolemy) hare Arneb
Libra
/ˈlbrə, ˈl-/[3]
Lib Libr Librae
/ˈlbr/
Zodiac ancient (Ptolemy) balance Zubeneshamali
Lupus
/ˈljuːpəs/[3]
Lup Lupi Lupi
/ˈljuːp/
Hercules ancient (Ptolemy) wolf Men
Lynx
/ˈlɪŋks/[3]
Lyn Lync Lyncis
/ˈlɪnss/
Ursa Major 1690, Firmamentum Sobiescianum, Hevelius lynx Elvashak
Lyra
/ˈlrə/[3]
Lyr Lyra Lyrae
/ˈlr/
Hercules ancient (Ptolemy) lyre / harp Vega
Mensa
/ˈmɛnsə/[3]
Men Mens Mensae
/ˈmɛns/
La Caille 1763, Lacaille Table Mountain (South Africa) α Mensae
Microscopium
/ˌmkrˈskpiəm/
Mic Micr Microscopii
/ˌmkrˈskpi/
La Caille 1763, Lacaille microscope γ Microscopii
Monoceros
/məˈnɒsrəs/[3][4]
Mon Mono Monocerotis
/ˌmɒnsˈrts/
Orion 1613, Plancius unicorn β Monocerotis
Musca
/ˈmʌskə/[4]
Mus Musc Muscae
/ˈmʌs/[3][4]
Bayer 1603, Uranometria, created by Keyser and de Houtman fly α Muscae
Norma
/ˈnɔːrmə/[3]
Nor Norm Normae
/ˈnɔːrm/[3]
La Caille 1763, Lacaille carpenter's level γ2 Normae
Octans
/ˈɒktænz/[4]
Oct Octn Octantis
/ɒkˈtænts/[4]
La Caille 1763, Lacaille octant (instrument) ν Oct
Ophiuchus
/ˌɒfiˈjuːkəs/[3]
Oph Ophi Ophiuchi
/ˌɒfiˈjuːk/
Hercules ancient (Ptolemy) serpent-bearer Rasalhague
Orion
/ˈrən/[3]
Ori Orio Orionis
/ˈrəns, ˌɒriˈns/[4]
Orion ancient (Ptolemy) Orion (mythological character) Rigel
Pavo
/ˈpv/[3][4]
Pav Pavo Pavonis
/pəˈvns/[4]
Bayer 1603, Uranometria, created by Keyser and de Houtman peacock Peacock
Pegasus
/ˈpɛɡəsəs/[3]
Peg Pegs Pegasi
/ˈpɛɡəs/
Perseus ancient (Ptolemy) Pegasus (mythological winged horse) Enif
Perseus
/ˈpɜːrsiəs, -sjuːs/[4]
Per Pers Persei
/ˈpɜːrsi/[4]
Perseus ancient (Ptolemy) Perseus (mythological character) Mirfak
Phoenix
/ˈfnks/[3]
Phe Phoe Phoenicis
/fˈnss/
Bayer 1603, Uranometria, created by Keyser and de Houtman phoenix Ankaa
Pictor
/ˈpɪktər/[4]
Pic Pict Pictoris
/pɪkˈtɔərs/[4]
La Caille 1763, Lacaille easel α Pictoris
Pisces
/ˈpsz, ˈpɪ-/[3][4]
Psc Pisc Piscium
/ˈpɪʃiəm/[4]
Zodiac ancient (Ptolemy) fishes Alpherg
Piscis Austrinus
/ˈpss ɔːˈstrnəs/
PsA PscA Piscis Austrini
/ˈpss ɔːˈstrn/
Heavenly Waters ancient (Ptolemy) southern fish Fomalhaut
Puppis
/ˈpʌps/[4]
Pup Pupp Puppis
/ˈpʌps/[4]
Heavenly Waters 1763, Lacaille, split from Argo Navis poop deck Naos
Pyxis
/ˈpɪkss/[3]
Pyx Pyxi Pyxidis
/ˈpɪksds/
Heavenly Waters 1763, Lacaille mariner's compass α Pyxidis
Reticulum
/rˈtɪkjᵿləm/[3]
Ret Reti Reticuli
/rˈtɪkjᵿl/
La Caille 1763, Lacaille eyepiece graticule α Reticuli
Sagitta
/səˈɪtə/[3]
Sge Sgte Sagittae
/səˈɪt/
Hercules ancient (Ptolemy) arrow γ Sagittae
Sagittarius
/sæˈtɛəriəs/[3]
Sgr Sgtr Sagittarii
/ˌsæəˈtɛəri/
Zodiac ancient (Ptolemy) archer Kaus Australis
Scorpius
/ˈskɔːrpiəs/[3]
Sco Scor Scorpii
/ˈskɔːrpi/
Zodiac ancient (Ptolemy) scorpion Antares
Sculptor
/ˈskʌlptər/[3]
Scl Scul Sculptoris
/skəlpˈtɒrs/
La Caille 1763, Lacaille sculptor α Sculptoris
Scutum
/ˈskjuːtəm/[3]
Sct Scut Scuti
/ˈskjuːt/
Hercules 1690, Firmamentum Sobiescianum, Hevelius shield (of Sobieski) α Scuti
Serpens[8]
/ˈsɜːrpɛnz/
Ser Serp Serpentis
/sərˈpɛnts/
Hercules ancient (Ptolemy) snake Unukalhai
Sextans
/ˈsɛkstənz/[4]
Sex Sext Sextantis
/sɛksˈtænts/[4]
Hercules 1690, Firmamentum Sobiescianum, Hevelius sextant α Sextantis
Taurus
/ˈtɔːrəs/[3]
Tau Taur Tauri
/ˈtɔːr/
Zodiac ancient (Ptolemy) bull Aldebaran
Telescopium
/ˌtɛlˈskɒpiəm/
Tel Tele Telescopii
/ˌtɛlˈskɒpi/
La Caille 1763, Lacaille telescope α Telescopii
Triangulum
/trˈæŋɡjᵿləm/
Tri Tria Trianguli
/trˈæŋɡjᵿl/
Perseus ancient (Ptolemy) triangle β Trianguli
Triangulum Australe
/trˈæŋɡjᵿləmɔːˈstræl, -ˈstr-/
TrA TrAu Trianguli Australis
/trˈæŋɡjᵿl ɔːˈstræls/
Hercules 1603 Uranometria, created by Keyser and de Houtman southern triangle Atria
Tucana
/tjᵿˈknə/
Tuc Tucn Tucanae
/tjᵿˈkn/
Bayer 1603 Uranometria, created by Keyser and de Houtman toucan α Tucanae
Ursa Major
/ˌɜːrsə ˈmər/[3]
UMa UMaj Ursae Majoris
/ˌɜːrs məˈɒrs/
Ursa Major ancient (Ptolemy) great bear Alioth
Ursa Minor
/ˌɜːrsə ˈmnər/[3]
UMi UMin Ursae Minoris
/ˌɜːrs mˈnɒrs/
Ursa Major ancient (Ptolemy) lesser bear Polaris
Vela
/ˈvlə/[3]
Vel Velr Velorum
/vˈlɔərəm/
Heavenly Waters 1763, Lacaille, split from Argo Navis sails Regor
Virgo
/ˈvɜːrɡ/[3]
Vir Virg Virginis
/ˈvɜːrns/
Zodiac ancient (Ptolemy) virgin or maiden Spica
Volans
/ˈvlænz/[4]
Vol Voln Volantis
/vˈlænts/[4]
Bayer 1603, Uranometria, created by Keyser and de Houtman flying fish β Volantis
Vulpecula
/vʌlˈpɛkjᵿlə/[3]
Vul Vulp Vulpeculae
/vʌlˈpɛkjᵿl/
Hercules 1690, Firmamentum Sobiescianum, Hevelius fox Anser

Asterisms[edit]

Main article: Asterism (astronomy)

Various other unofficial patterns have existed 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[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "The Constellations". International Astronomical Union. Retrieved 9 December 2015. 
  2. ^ NASA Dictionary of terms for Aerospace Use - table V, Constellations
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf OED, 2nd edition
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg Random House Dictionary
  5. ^ 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
  6. ^ Corona Australis is sometimes called "Corona Austrina" /ɔːˈstrnə/ (genitive: Coronae Austrinae)
  7. ^ "Definition of dorado". Collins English Dictionary. Retrieved 28 November 2012. 
  8. ^ Serpens may be divided into Serpens Cauda (serpent's tail) and Serpens Caput (serpent's head)

External links[edit]