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 Ākhir an-Nahr End of the river آخر النهر
Achernar Ākhir an-Nahr End of the river آخر النهر
Acrab al-ʿAqrab the Scorpion عقرب
Açubens az-Zubanāh the Claw الزبانى
Adhafera ad-Dhafīrah the Braid or Curl (of the lion's mane) الضفيرة
Adhara al-ʿAdhāra the Virgins العذارى
Adhil ad-Dhayl the Tail الذيل
Adib Al-dhi'b The wolf الذئب
Ain ʿAin the Eye (of the bull) عين
Albali al-Bāliʿ the Swallower البالع
Alchibah al-Khibā the Tent الخباء
Aldebaran al-Dabarān the Follower (of the Pleiades) الدبران
Alderamin ad-Dhirāʿ al-Yamīn the Right Arm (of Cepheus) الذراع الأيمن
Alfirk al-Firqah the Flock of sheep الفرق
Algebar (Rijl) al-Jabbār (Foot of) the Giant رجل الجبار
Algedi al-Jady the Goat الجدي
Algenib al-Janb the Flank (of Pegasus) الجنب
Algieba al-Jabhah the Forehead (of the Lion) الجبهة
Algol (Ra's) al-Ghūl (Head of) the Ghoul رأس الغول
Algorab al-Ghurāb the Crow الغراب
Alhena al-Hanʿah the Brand (on the neck of the camel) الهنعة
Alioth Al-Jawn The black horse "John" الجون
Alkaid al-Qā'id (bināt naʿsh) the Leader (of the mourning maidens) القائد بنات نعش
Alkes al-Ka's the Cup الكأس
Almak al-ʿAnāq al-Arđ̧ the Caracal عناق الأرض
Almeisan al-Maisān the Shining one الميسان
Alnair an-Nayyir the Bright one النّيّر
Alnasl al-Naşl the Arrowhead النصل
Alnilam an-Niżām the String of Pearls النّظم
Alnitak an-Niṭāq the Girdle (Orion's Belt) النطاق
Alphard al-Fard the Solitary one الفرد
Alphecca (Nayyir) al-Fakka (the Bright one of) the Broken (Ring) نير الفكّة
Alpheratz (Surrat) al-Faras (Navel of) the Mare سُرَّة الفرس
Alrescha al-Rišā’ the Well-Rope الرشاء
Alsafi al-Athāfiyy the Tripods الأثافي
Alsuhail Suhail Glorious سهيل
Altair (an-Nasr) aṭ-Ṭā’ir the Flying (Eagle) النّسر الطّائر
Altais at-Tāis the Goat التيس
Alterf aṭ-Ṭarf the View (of the Lion) الطرف
Aludra al-ʿUdhrah the Virgin العذرة
Alula Australis, Alula Borealis (al-Qafzah) al-Ūla the First (Leap) القفزة الأولى
Alya al-Alyah the fatty Tail of a sheep الألية
Angetenar ʿArjat an-Nahr Curve of the River عرجة النهر
Ankaa al-ʿAnqā’ Phoenix العنقاء
Arkab al-ʿArqūb the Hamstring العرقوب
Arneb al-Arnab the Hare الأرنب
Arrakis ar-Rāqiṣ the Dancer الراقص
Atik al-ʿAtiq the Shoulder (of Perseus) عاتق الثّريّا
Auva al-ʿAwwā' the Barking (Dog) العوّاء
Azha (Persian) Āšiyāne (Ostrich) Nest

B[edit]

Common name Arabic name (transliteration) Meaning Arabic name
Baham S'ad al-Biham Luck of the Young Beasts سعد البهام
Baten Kaitos Batn Qaytus Belly of Cetus بطن قيطس
Beid Baiḍ Eggs بيض
Benetnash Banat Naʿsh Daughters of the bier بنات النعش
Betelgeuse Ibt al-Jauzā' Armpit of the Central One إبط الجوزاء
Botein al-Buṭayn the Belly (of the ram) بطين

C[edit]

Common name Arabic name (transliteration) Meaning Arabic name
Caph al-Kaff al-Khadib the Palm (reaching from the Pleiades) الكـــف الخضيب
Celbalrai Kalb ar-Raʿi the Shepherd's Dog كلب الراعي
Chort al-Kharāt the Rib الخرت
Cursa al-Kursiyy al-Jauzah the Chair or Footstool (of Orion) الكرسي

D[edit]

Common name Arabic name (transliteration) Meaning Arabic name
Dabih Saʿd adh-Dhābiḥ the lucky star of the Slaughterer سّعد الذّابح
Deneb Dhanab ad-Dajājah Tail of the hen ذنب الدجاجة
Deneb Algedi Dhanab al-Jady Tail of the goat ذنب الجدي
Deneb Dulfim Dhanab ad-Dulfīn Tail of the Dolphin ذنب الدّلفين
Deneb Kaitos al-Dhanab al-Qaiṭos (al-Janūbīyy) (Southern) Tail of Cetus ألذنب ألقيتوس ألجنوب
Denebola Dhanab al-Asad Tail of the lion ذنب الاسد
Diphda aḍ-Ḍifdaʿ aṯ-ṯānī the (second) 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 or Jackals الذئبان

E[edit]

Common name Arabic name (transliteration) Meaning Arabic name
Edasich adh-Dhikh the Hyena الذّيخ
El Nath an-Nath the butting (of the bull's horns) النطح
Eltanin at-Tinnin the Great Serpent التنين
Enif al-Anf the Nose (of Pegasus) الأنف
Errai ar-Rāʿī the Shepherd الراعي

F[edit]

Common name Arabic name (transliteration) Meaning Arabic name
Fomalhaut Fum al-Ḥūt Mouth of the Fish فم الحوت
Furud al-Furud the bright Single ones (but see that article) الفرد

G[edit]

Common name Arabic name (transliteration) Meaning Arabic name
Gienah al-Janāħ the Wing الجناح
Gomeisa al-Ghumaisa' the Bleary-eyed one الغميصاء

H[edit]

Common name Arabic name (transliteration) Meaning Arabic name
Hadar Hadar Settlement حضار
Hamal Rās al-Ħamal (head of) the Ram نيّر الحمل
Heka al-Haqʿah the White Spot الهقعة
Homam Saʿd 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 al-Kab Đil-ʿinan the Shoulder of the Rein-holder كعب ذي العنان
Kaffaljidhma al-Kaff al-Jadhma' the Cut-short Hand الكف الجذماء
Kaus Australis, Kaus Media, Kaus Borealis al-Qaus the Bow القوس
Keid al-Qaid the (broken egg) Shells القيض
Kitalpha Qiṭʿat al-Faras Part of the Horse قطعة الفرس
Kochab al-Kaukab the Star كوكب
Kurhah al-Qurhah the Blaze on a horse's brow القرحة

L[edit]

Common name Arabic name (transliteration) Meaning Arabic name
Lesath al-Lasʿah 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-Miʿsam the Wrist (of Hercules معصم الثّريّا
Maaz al-Māʿz the he-Goat المعز
Mankib Mankib (al-Faras) the Shoulder (of the Horse) منكب الفرس
Marfik al-Mirfaq the Elbow المرفق
Markab Markab (al-Faras) the Saddle (of the Horse) منكب الفرس
Matar al-Saʽd al-Maṭar the lucky star of Rain سعد مطر
Mebsuta al-Mabsūṭah the Outstretched (Paw) الذّراع المبسوطه
Megrez al-Maghriz the Base of the bear's tail مغرز
Meissa al-Maisan the Shining one الميسان
Mekbuda al-Maqbudah the Folded (Paw) الذّراع المقبوضة
Menkalinan Mankib Dhī-l-ʿInān Shoulder of the Rein-holder منكب ذي العنان
Menkar al-Manħar the Nostril المنخر
Menkent Mankib al-Qanturis the Shoulder of the Centaur منكب قنطورس
Menkib Al-Mankib "The shoulder" of the Pleiades منكب الثّريّا
Merak al-Maraqq the loins (of the bear) المراق
Mintaka al-Manṭaqa the Belt (of Orion) المنطقة
Mirak al-Mirāq the Loin-cloth المراق
Mirfak al-Mirfaq the Elbow مرفق الثّريّا
Mizar mīzar the Girdle المئزر
Mothallah Rās al-Muthallath (Head of) the Triangle المثلث
Muphrid Mufrid ar-Rāmiħ the Solitary one of the Lancer المفرد
Murzim al-Murzim the Herald المرزم

N[edit]

Common name Arabic name (transliteration) Meaning Arabic name
Nashira Saʿd Nashirah Lucky star of Nashirah سعد ناشرة
Nekkar al-Baqqār the Cattleman البقار
Nihal an-Nihal (camels) Quenching their thirst النهال
Nusakan an-Nusaqan The two series النسقان
Nushaba / Alnasl Zujj al-Nashshaba / an-Naşl the Arrowhead النصل / نشابة

O[edit]

Common name Arabic name (transliteration) Meaning Arabic name
Okda al-ʿUqdah the Knot العقدة

P[edit]

Common name Arabic name (transliteration) Meaning Arabic name
Phact al-Fākhitah 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 Rās al-Assad Head of the lion رأس الأسد
Rasalgethi Rās al-Jathī Head of the Kneeler رأس الجاثي
Rasalhague Rās al-Ḥawwāʾ Head of the Snake-man رأس الحوّاء
Rastaban Rās ath-Thuʿban Head of the Snake رأس الثعبان
Rigel Rijl al-Jabbār Foot of the Giant رجل الجبّار
Rigilkent Rijl Qanṭūris Foot of the Centaur رجل القنطورس
Risha al-Rišā’ the Well-Rope الرشاء
Rukbah ar-Rukbah the Knee الركبة
Rukbat Rukbat al-Rāmī Knee of the archer ركبة الرامي

S[edit]

Common name Arabic name (transliteration) Meaning Arabic name
Sabik as-Sabiq the Preceding السابق
Sadachbia Saʿd al-Akhbiyah Lucky star of the Tents سعد الاخبية
Sadalbari Saʿd al-Bariʿ Lucky star of the Splendid one سعد البارع
Sadalmelik Saʿd al-Malik Lucky star of the King سعد الملك
Sadalsuud Saʿd as-Suʿūd Luck of Lucks سعد السعود
Sadr as-Ṣadr the Breast (of the hen) الصدر
Saiph as-Saif the Sword (of Orion) السيف
Scheat as-Sāʿid the Shoulder الساعد
Shaula ash-Šawlā the Raised (tail of the scorpion) الشولة
Shedir as-Ṣadr the Breast الصدر
Sheliak Šiliyāq Lyra الشلياق
Sheratan aš-Šarāţān the Two Signs الشرطان
Sirrah Surrah Navel (of the Mare) سُرَّة الفرس
Skat as-Saq (or Ši'at) the Leg (or the Wish) الساق / شئت
Sulafat as-Sulḥafāt the Tortoise السلحفاة

T[edit]

Common name Arabic name (transliteration) Meaning Arabic name
Talitha Australis, Talitha Borealis al-Fiḳrah al-Thalitha the Third Leap (of the ghazal) القفزة الثّالثة
Tania Australis, Tania Borealis al-Fiḳrah al-Thānia the Second Leap (of the gazelle) القفزة الثّانية
Tarf at-Tarf "The glance" of the lion الطرف
Thuban ath-Thuʿbān the Snake الثعبان

U[edit]

Common name Arabic name (transliteration) Meaning Arabic name
Unukalhai ʿUnuq al-Ħayyah Neck of the Snake عنق الحية

V[edit]

Common name Arabic name (transliteration) Meaning Arabic name
Vega an-Nasr al-Wāqiʿ 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-Wazn the Weight الوزن
Wezn al-Wazn the Weight الوزن

Y[edit]

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

Z[edit]

Common name Arabic name (transliteration) Meaning Arabic name
Zaurac az-Zawraq the Boat الزورق
Zavijava Zāwiyat al-ʿAwwa' the Angle of the Barking Dog زاوية العواء
Zawiah az-Zawiyah The angle الزاوية
Zubenelgenubi az-Zuban al-Janūbiyy Southern Claw (of the scorpion) زبانى/الزبان الجنوبي
Zubeneshamali az-Zuban ash-Šamāliyya Northern Claw (of the scorpion) 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]