Alderaan (astronomy)

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Gemini constellation map showing Castor, Pollux, Procyon and Beta Canis Minoris (Gomeisa)

Alderaan and similar spellings (e.g. "Alderahan") is a disused name for the two pairs of stars α and β Canis Minoris (Procyon and Gomeisa) and α and β Geminorum (Castor and Pollux).

The name was taken from Arabic al-dhirā`ain الذراعين (= "the two forearms" or "the two front paws" or "the two cubit measuring rods").[1] The term originally referred to the "measuring rods'" meaning, but an astronomer whose native language was not Arabic supposed that it meant "the two forepaws" literally and invented an enlarged rampant Lion asterism centered on Leo and stretching over a quarter of the sky with its forepaws at these two pairs of stars.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Star Names — Their Lore and Meaning: Canis Minor, Richard Hinckley Allen, see the entry β for the singular al-dhirā`