Hydrus in Chinese astronomy

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The modern constellation Hydrus is not included in the Three Enclosures and Twenty-Eight Mansions system of traditional Chinese uranography because its stars are too far south for observers in China to know about them prior to the introduction of Western star charts. Based on the work of Xu Guangqi and the German Jesuit missionary Johann Adam Schall von Bell in the late Ming Dynasty,[1] this constellation has been classified under the 23 Southern Asterisms (近南極星區, Jìnnánjíxīngōu) with the names Snake's Tail (蛇尾, Shéwěi), Snake's Abdomen (蛇腹, Shéfù), Snake's Head (蛇首, Shéshǒu) and White Patched Nearby (附白, Fùbái).

The name of the western constellation in modern Chinese is 水蛇座 (shuǐ shé zuò), which means "the water snake constellation".


The map of Chinese constellation in constellation Hydrus area consists of:

Four Symbols Mansion (Chinese name) Romanization Translation Asterisms (Chinese name) Romanization Translation Western star name Chinese star name Romanization Translation
- 近南極星區 (non-mansions) Jìnnánjíxīngōu (non-mansions) The Southern Asterisms (non-mansions)
蛇尾 Shéwěi Snake's Tail β Hyi [2] 蛇尾一 Shéwěiyī 1st star
蛇腹 Shéfù Snake's Abdomen
ζ Hyi[2] 蛇腹一 Shéfùyī 1st star
ε Hyi[2] 蛇腹二 Shéfùèr 2nd star
δ Hyi[2] 蛇腹三 Shéfùsān 3rd star
η2 Hyi[2] 蛇腹四 Shéfùsì 4th star
蛇首 Shéshǒu Snake's Head α Hyi[2] 蛇尾一 Shéshǒuyī 1st star
附白 Fùbái White Patched Nearby
γ Hyi[2] 附白一 Fùbáiyī 1st star
κ Hyi[2] 附白二 Fùbáièr 2nd star

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Sun, Xiaochun (1997). Helaine Selin, ed. Encyclopaedia of the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine in Non-Western Cultures. Kluwer Academic Publishers. p. 910. ISBN 0-7923-4066-3. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h (Chinese) AEEA (Activities of Exhibition and Education in Astronomy) 天文教育資訊網 2006 年 7 月 27 日

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