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]

Please note the Arabic transliteration with spelling below is the nearest and proper pronunciation in accordance with the Arabic IPA system. (rev. 30 October 2016)

[Furthermore, to aide due to the proper Arabic transliteration and pronunciation, both ' and ʿ is pronounced closest to a pitch or "uh" from the back of the throat.]

A[edit]

Main group

(quantity: single)

Group and Sub-divisions

(quantity: plural)

Arab-Latinized star name ِِArabic star name

(vowelled)

Arabic star name Arabic transliterated name

[closest romanization]

Meaning ِِArabic star group/ division name

(vowelled)

ِِArabic star sub-division name

(vowelled)

[quantity: 2 and above]

Scientific star names
Group/ Division Name Transliterated Name

[closest romanization]

Meaning Sub-division Name(s) Transliterated Name

[closest romanization]

Meaning
Acamar آخِرُ ٱلْنََهْر آخر النهر Ākhiru ’n-Nah·r

[Aakhiru 'n-Nahr]

the River's or Stream's End/ Tail/ Edge/ Border
Achernar آخِرُ ٱلْنََهْر آخر النهر Ākhiru ’n-Nah·r

[Aakhiru 'n-Nahr]

the River's or Stream's End/ Tail/ Edge/ Border
Acrab عَقْرَب عقرب Aq·rab

[Eaq·rab]

the Scorpion
Açubens الْزُّبَانَى الزّبانى az-Zubānā

[Az-Zubaanaa]

the Claw/ Dart/ Sting
Adhafera الْضَّفِيرَة الضفيرة ’aḍ-Ḍafiyrah/

’aḍ-Ḍafīrah [Adh-Dhafiyrah/ Adh-Dhafeerah]

the Braid/ Curl/ Strand (of the lion's mane)
Adhara الْعَذَارَى العذارى ’al-A·dhārā

[Al-A·dzhaaraa/

Al-Ea·dzhaaraa]

the Virgin/ Nymph الْعَذَارِي ’al-‘Adhāriy/ ’al-‘Adhārī

[Al-‘Adzhaaree]

the Virgins/ Nymphs أَوَّلُ ٱلْعَذَارِي ’Awwalu ’l-‘Adhāriy/ ’l-‘Adhārī

[Awwalu 'l-‘Adzhaaree]

First of the Virgins/ Nymphs Epsilon Canis Majoris
ثَانِيُ ٱلْعَذَارِي Thaniyu ’l-‘Adhāriy/ ’l-‘Adhārī

[Thaniyu 'l-‘Adzhaaree]

Second of the Virgins/ Nymphs Omicron² Canis Majoris
Adhil الْذَيْل الذيل ’adh-Dhayl

[Adzh-Dzhayl]

the Tail/ Annex
Adib الْذِّئْب الذئب ’adh-Dhi’b

[Adzh-Dzhi'b/ Adzh-Dzhi'eb]

the Wolf
Ain عين ʿAyn the Eye (of the bull)
Alawaid

also nicknamed Alruba‘ - "the Four"

الْعَوَائِذ

("الْرُّبَع")

الْعوائذ

(الرّبع)

’al-Awaā’idh/

’al-Awā’idh [Al-Awaa’idzh/

Al-Ewaa’idzh]

(الْرُّبَع - ’ar-Ruba)

the Protecting Mother Camels; the Old Camels; nicknamed "the Four" الْعَوَائِذ ’al-Awaā’idh/

’al-Awā’idh [Al-Awaa’idzh/

Al-Ewaa’idzh]

the Protecting Mother Camels; the Old Camels; nicknamed "the Four" Gamma Draconis,

Xi Draconis, Nu Draconis,

Beta Draconis

[1st & main body of Draco* as observed in the past by the Arabs, also nicknamed الْرُّبَع - ’ar-Ruba]

*Draco was divided to 3 parts

Alawwad الْعَوَّاد العوّاد al-‘Awwād

[Al-Awwaad/

Al-Ewwaad]

the Lutanist/ Lute Player Mu Draconis
Albali البالع al-Bāliʿ the Swallower
Alchibah الخباء al-Khibā' the Tent
Alcor الخوّار al-Khawwār the Faint One
Aldebaran الدبران ad-Dabarān the Follower (of the Pleiades)
Alderamin الذراع اليمين adh-Dhirāʿu l-Yamīn the Right Arm (of Cepheus)
Aldhibah الْضِّبَاع الضّباع ’aḍ-Ḍibaā/

’aḍ-Ḍibā [Adh-Dhibaa/ Adh-Dhibaae]

the Hyenas Zeta Draconis
Aldhibain الْذِّئْبَيْن الذّئبين ’adh-Dhi’bayn

[Adzh-Dzhi'bayn/ Adzh-Dzhi'ebayn]

the Two Hyenas/ Wolves الْذِّئْبَيْن ’adh-Dhi’bayn

[Adzh-Dzhi'bayn/ Adzh-Dzhi'ebayn]

the Two Hyenas/ Wolves Zeta Draconis (Aldhibah), Eta Draconis

[formed and combination of 2 stars]

Alfirk الفرقة al-Firqah the Flock of sheep
Algebar رجل الجبار (Rijl) ul-Jabbār (Foot of) the Giant
Algedi الجدي al-Jady the Goat
Algenib الجنب al-Janb the Flank (of Pegasus)
Algieba الجبهة al-Jab'hah the Forehead (of the Lion)
Algol رأس الغول (Ra'as) al-Ghūl (Head of) the Ghoul
Algorab الغراب al-Ghurāb the Crow
Alhena الهنعة al-Hanʿah the Brand (on the neck of the camel)
Alioth الجون Al-Jawn The black horse "John"
Alkaid القائد بنات نعش al-Qā'id (banāt naʿash) the Leader (of the mourning maidens)
Alkes الكأس al-Ka's the Cup
Almak/ Almach عَنَاقِ ٱلْأَرْض عناق الأرض al-Anāqi ’l-Arḍ

[Al-Anaaqi 'l-Ardh]

the Caracal/ Desert Lynx; other meaning: "She-kid/ She-Goat of the land"
Almeisan الميسان al-Maysān the Shining one
Alnair النّيّر an-Nayyir the Bright one
Alnasl النصل an-Naşl the Blade
Alnilam النّظم an-Niżm the String of Pearls
Alnitak النطاق an-Niṭāq the Girdle (Orion's Belt)
Alphard الفرد al-Fard the Solitary one
Alphecca نير الفكّة (Nayyir) al-Fakkah (the Bright one of) the Broken (Ring)
Alpheratz سُرَّة الفرس (Surrat) al-Faras (Navel of) the Mare
Alruba'
Alrescha الرشاء ar-Rishā' the Well-Rope
Alsafi الْصَّافِيّ الصافيّ aṣ-Ṣaāfiyy/

aṣ-Ṣāfiyy [Asw-Swaafiyy/

As-Ssaafiyy]

the Tripods
Alsuhail سهيل Suhayl Glorious
Altair النّسر الطّائر (an-Nisr) uṭ-Ṭā’ir the Flying (Eagle)
Altais التيس at-Tays the Goat
Alterf الطرف aṭ-Ṭarf the View (of the Lion)
Aludra العذرة al-ʿUdhrah Virginity
Alula Australis, Alula Borealis القفزة الأولى (al-Qafzat) ul-Ūla' the First (Leap)
Alya الألية al-Alyah the fatty Tail of a sheep
Angetenar عرجة النهر ʿArjat un-Nahr Curve of the River
Ankaa العنقاء al-ʿAnqā' Phoenix
Arkab العرقوب al-ʿArqūb the Hamstring
Arneb الأرنب al-Arnab the Hare
Arrakis الْرَّاقِص الراقص ’ar-Rāqiṣ

[Ar-Raaqis/ Ar-Raaqiss]

the Dancer; Trotting Camel Arrakis الْرَّاقِص ’ar-Rāqiṣ

[Ar-Raaqis/ Ar-Raaqiss]

the group Alwaid combined with the "Mother Dragon" - Mu Draconis becomes the group Arrakis Mu Draconis

[2nd sector of Draco* as observed in the past by the Arabs]

*Draco was divided to 3 parts

Asuja (improperly spelt Asuia) الْشُّجَاع الشجاع ’ash-Shujaā/

’ash-Shujā

[Ash-Shujaa/

Ash-Shujaae]

the Hydra/ Sea-Serpent Beta Draconis
Atik عاتق الثّريّا al-ʿĀtiq ath-Thurayyā the Shoulder (of Perseus)
Auva العوّاء al-ʿAwwā' the Barking (Dog)
Azfar Adib أَظْفَارُ ٱلْذِّئْب أظفار الذئب ’Aẓfaāru ’dh-Dhi’b/

’Aẓfaāru ’dh-Dhi’b

[Azw·faru ’dh-Dhi’b/

Azz·faru ’dh-Dhi’b]

the Wolf's Nails/ Fingerprints Azfar Adib أَظْفَارُ ٱلْذِّئْب أظفار الذئب ’Aẓfaāru ’dh-Dhi’b/

’Aẓfaāru ’dh-Dhi’b

[Azw·faru ’dh-Dhi’b/

Azz·faru ’dh-Dhi’b]

the Wolf's Nails/ Fingerprints [3rd sector of Draco* as observed in the past by the Arabs]

*Draco was divided to 3 parts

Azha اشیانه (Persian: Ôshyôneh) Āshiyānah (Ostrich) Nest

B[edit]

Common name Arabic name (transliteration) Meaning Arabic name
Baham Sa'ad ul-Biham Luck of the Young Beasts سعد البهام
Baten Kaitos Baṭni Qayṭus Belly of Cetus بطن قيطوس
Beid Bayḍ Eggs بيض
Benetnash Banāt un-Naʿash Daughters of the bier بنات النعش
Betelgeuse Ibṭ ul-Jawzā' 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 ul-Khaḍib the Palm (reaching from the Pleiades) الكـــف الخضيب
Celbalrai Kalb ur-Rāʿī the Shepherd's Dog كلب الراعي
Chort al-Kharat the Rib الخرت
Cursa Kursiyy al-Jauzah the Chair or Footstool (of Orion) الكرسيّ

D[edit]

Common name Arabic name (transliteration) Meaning Arabic name
Dabih Saʿad udh-Dhābiḥ the lucky star of the Slaughterer سّعد الذّابح
Deneb Dhanab ud-Dajājah Tail of the hen ذنب الدجاجة
Deneb Algedi Dhanab ul-Jady Tail of the goat ذنب الجدي
Deneb Dulfim Dhanab ud-Dulfīn Tail of the Dolphin ذنب الدّلفين
Deneb Kaitos Dhanab ul-Qaiṭos (ul-Janūbīyy) (Southern) Tail of Cetus ذنب قيطوس الجنوبي
Denebola Dhanab ul-Asad Tail of the lion ذنب الاسد
Diphda aḍ-Ḍifdaʿ ath-Thānī the (second) Frog الضّفدع الثاني
Dschubba al-Jab'hah the Forehead (of the scorpion) الجبهة
Dubhe Kāhil ud-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-Naṭḥ the butting (of the bull's horns) النطح
Eltanin/ Etamin/ Etanin (properly: Raseltinnin) 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 Whale 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-Janāḥ the Wing الجناح
Gomeisa al-Ghumaişā' the Bleary-eyed one الغميصاء

H[edit]

Common name Arabic name (transliteration) Meaning Arabic name
Hadar Ḥaḍār Settlement حضار
Hamal Rā's al-Ḥamal (head of) the Ram رأس الحمل
Heka al-Haqʿah the White Spot الهقعة
Homam Saʿad al-Humām 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 Meaning
Jabbah al-Jab'hah the Forehead (of the scorpion) الجبهة

K[edit]

Common name Arabic name (transliteration) Meaning Arabic name
Kabdhilinan Kaʿab Dhiy l-ʿInān the Shoulder of the Rein-holder كعب ذي العنان
Kaffaljidhma al-Kaff al-Jadhmā' the Cut-short Hand الكف الجذماء
Kaus Australis, Kaus Media, Kaus Borealis al-Qaws the Bow القوس
Keid al-Qaiḍ the (broken egg) Shells القيض
Kitalpha Qiṭʿat al-Faras Part of the Horse قطعة الفرس
Kochab al-Kawkab the Star كوكب
Kurhah al-Qurḥah 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]

Arab-Latinized star name Arabic star name

(vowelled)

Arabic star name Arabic name (transliteration) Meaning
Maasym معصم الثّريّا al-Miʿasam uth-Thurayyā the Wrist (of Hercules)
Maaz المعز al-Māʿaz the he-Goat
Mankib منكب الفرس Mankib (ul-Faras) the Shoulder (of the Horse)
Marfik المرفق al-Mirfaq the Elbow
Markab مركب الفرس Markab (ul-Faras) the Saddle (of the Horse)
Matar سعد مطر al-Saʿad ul-Maṭar the lucky star of Rain
Mebsuta الذّراع المبسوطه adh-Dhirāʿu l-Mabsūṭah the Outstretched (Paw)
Megrez مغرز al-Maghriz the Base of the bear's tail
Meissa الميسان al-Maysān the Shining one
Mekbuda الذّراع المقبوضة adh-Dhirāʿu l-Maqbūḍah the Folded (Arm)
Menkalinan منكب ذي العنان Mankib Dhiyi l-ʿInān Shoulder of the Rein-holder
Menkar المنخر al-Minkhar the Nostril
Menkent منكب قنطورس Mankib ul-Qanṭūris the Shoulder of the Centaur
Menkib منكب الثّريّا Al-Mankib uth-Thurayyā "The shoulder" of the Pleiades
Merak الْمِرَاقّ المراقّ al-Marāqq

[Al-Maraaqq]

the Loins (of the bear)
Mintaka المنطقة al-Minṭaqah the Belt (of Orion)
Mirach الْمِرَاقّ المراقّ al-Marāqq t

the Loins/ Loinclotht

Mirak الْمِرَاقّ المراقّ al-Marāqq the Loin-cloth
Mirfak مرفق الثّريّا al-Mirfaq uth-Thurayyā the Elbow
Mizar المئزر al-Mi'zar the Apron
Mothallah الرعس المثلث Ra'as ul-Muthallath (Head of) the Triangle
Muhlifain مُحْلِفَيْن محلفين ’al-Muḥlifayn

[Al-MuḤlifayn]

Muliphein مُحْلِفَيْن محلفين ’al-Muḥlifayn

[Al-MuḤlifayn]

Muphrid المفرد الرامح Mufrid ur-Rāmiḥ the Solitary one of the Lancer
Murzim/ Mirzam الْمُرْزِم \الْمِرْزَم المرزم ’al-Murzim/ ’al-Mirzam the Herald

N[edit]

Common name Arabic name (transliteration) Meaning Arabic name
Nashira Saʿad Nāshirah Lucky star of Nashirah سعد ناشرة
Nekkar al-Baqqār the Cattleman البقار
Nihal an-Nihāl (camels) Quenching their thirst النهال
Nusakan an-Nasaqān The two arrays النسقان
Nushaba / Alnasl Zujji n-Nashshāba [Zujji n-Nashāba?] / an-Naşl the Arrowhead زُجِّ النشابة / النصل

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
Polaris (al-)jadi the Goat الجدي

R[edit]

Common name Arabic name (transliteration) Meaning Arabic name
Rasalased Ra'as ul-Assad Head of the lion رأس الأسد
Rasalgethi Ra'as ul-Jathī Head of the Kneeler رأس الجاثي
Rasalhague Ra'as ul-Ḥawwā' Head of the Snake-man رأس الحوّاء
Rastaban Ra'as uth-Thuʿabān Head of the Snake رأس الثعبان
Rigel Rijl ul-Jabbār Foot of the Giant رجل الجبّار
Rigilkent Rijl ul-Qanṭūris Foot of the Centaur رجل القنطورس
Risha ar-Rishā' the Well-Rope الرشاء
Rukbah ar-Rukbah the Knee الركبة
Rukbat Rukbat ur-Rāmī Knee of the archer ركبة الرامي

S[edit]

Common name Arabic name (transliteration) Meaning Arabic name
Sabik as-Sābiq the Preceding السابق
Sadachbia Saʿad ul-Akhbiyyah Lucky star of the Tents سعد الاخبية
Sadalbari Saʿad ul-Bāriʿ Lucky star of the Splendid one سعد البارع
Sadalmelik Saʿad ul-Malik Lucky star of the King سعد الملك
Sadalsuud Saʿad us-Suʿūd Luck of Lucks سعد السعود
Sadr aṣ-Ṣadr the Breast (of the hen) الصدر
Saiph as-Sayf the Sword (of Orion) السيف
Scheat as-Sāʿid the Shoulder الساعد
Shaula ash-Shawlāh the Raised (tail of the scorpion) الشولة
Shedir as-Ṣadr the Breast الصدر
Sheliak ash-Shiliyāq Lyra الشلياق
Sheratan ash-Sharāţān the Two Signs الشرطان
Sirrah Surratu l-Faras Navel (of the Mare) سُرَّة الفرس
Skat as-Sāq (or Shi'at) the Leg (or the Wish) الساق / شئت
Spica as-Sunbulah the Stem السنبلة
Sulafat as-Sulḥafāh the Tortoise السلحفاة

T[edit]

Arab-Latinized name Arabic star name

(vowelled)

Arabic star name Arabic name (transliteration) Meaning
Talitha Australis, Talitha Borealis القفزة الثّالثة القفزة الثّالثة al-Qafzat uth-Thālathah the Third Leap (of the ghazal)
Tania Australis, Tania Borealis القفزة الثّانية القفزة الثّانية al-Qafzat uth-Thāniyah the Second Leap (of the gazelle)
Tarf الطرف الطرف aț-Țarf "The glance" of the lion
Thuban الْثُّعْبَان الثعبان ath-Thuabān

[Ath-ThuAbaan]

the Snake

U[edit]

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

V[edit]

Common name Arabic name (transliteration) Meaning Arabic name
Vega an-Nisr ul-Wāqiʿ the Falling Eagle النسر الواقع

W[edit]

Common name Arabic name (transliteration) Meaning Arabic name
Wasat Wasț us-Samā' "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 Mu'akhkhir Yad ul-Ḥawwā' (Back of the Snake Man's) Hand مؤخّر يد الحوّاء
Yed Prior Muqaddim Yad ul-Ḥawwā' (Palm of the Snake Man's) Hand مقدّم يد الحوّاء

Z[edit]

Common name Arabic name (transliteration) Meaning Arabic name
Zaurac az-Zawraq the Boat الزورق
Zavijava Zāwiyat ul-ʿAwwā' the Angle of the Barking Dog زاوية العواء
Zawiah az-Zāwiyah The angle الزاوية
Zubenelgenubi az-Zubān ul-Janūbiy Southern Claw (of the scorpion) الزبان الجنوبي
Zubeneshamali az-Zubān ush-Shamāliy Northern Claw (of the scorpion) الزبان الشمالي

Others[edit]

Common name Arabic name (transliteration) Meaning Arabic name
Milky Way Darb ut-Tabānah The Milky Road درب التبانة
Andromeda Galaxy as-Saḥābat uş-Şaghirah ("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 السَحَابَة الصَغِيرَة

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]