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]

Common name Arabic name (transliteration) Meaning Arabic name
Acamar Ākhir un-Nahr End of the river آخر النهر
Achernar Ākhir un-Nahr End of the river آخر النهر
Acrab al-ʿAqrab the Scorpion عقرب
Açubens az-Zubānā the Claw الزبانى
Adhafera aḍ-Ḍafīrah the Braid or Curl (of the lion's mane) الضفيرة
Adhara al-ʿAdhārā the Virgins العذارى
Adhil adh-Dhayl the Tail الذيل
Adib adh-Dhi'b The wolf الذئب
Ain ʿAyn the Eye (of the bull) عين
Albali al-Bāliʿ the Swallower البالع
Alchibah al-Khibā' the Tent الخباء
Alcor al-Khawwār the Faint One الخوّار
Aldebaran ad-Dabarān the Follower (of the Pleiades) الدبران
Alderamin adh-Dhirāʿu l-Yamīn the Right Arm (of Cepheus) الذراع اليمين
Alfirk al-Firqah the Flock of sheep الفرقة
Algebar (Rijl) ul-Jabbār (Foot of) the Giant رجل الجبار
Algedi al-Jady the Goat الجدي
Algenib al-Janb the Flank (of Pegasus) الجنب
Algieba al-Jab'hah the Forehead (of the Lion) الجبهة
Algol (Ra'as) 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 (banāt naʿash) the Leader (of the mourning maidens) القائد بنات نعش
Alkes al-Ka's the Cup الكأس
Almak al-ʿAnāq al-Arḍ the Caracal عناق الأرض
Almeisan al-Maysān the Shining one الميسان
Alnair an-Nayyir the Bright one النّيّر
Alnasl an-Naşl the Blade النصل
Alnilam an-Niżm the String of Pearls النّظم
Alnitak an-Niṭāq the Girdle (Orion's Belt) النطاق
Alphard al-Fard the Solitary one الفرد
Alphecca (Nayyir) al-Fakkah (the Bright one of) the Broken (Ring) نير الفكّة
Alpheratz (Surrat) al-Faras (Navel of) the Mare سُرَّة الفرس
Alrescha ar-Rishā' the Well-Rope الرشاء
Alsafi ath-Athāfiyy the Tripods الأثافيّ
Alsuhail Suhayl Glorious سهيل
Altair (an-Nisr) uṭ-Ṭā’ir the Flying (Eagle) النّسر الطّائر
Altais at-Tays the Goat التيس
Alterf aṭ-Ṭarf the View (of the Lion) الطرف
Aludra al-ʿUdhrah Virginity العذرة
Alula Australis, Alula Borealis (al-Qafzat) ul-Ūla' the First (Leap) القفزة الأولى
Alya al-Alyah the fatty Tail of a sheep الألية
Angetenar ʿArjat un-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-ʿĀtiq ath-Thurayyā the Shoulder (of Perseus) عاتق الثّريّا
Auva al-ʿAwwā' the Barking (Dog) العوّاء
Azha (Persian: Ôshyôneh) Āshiyānah (Ostrich) Nest اشیانه

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 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]

Common name Arabic name (transliteration) Meaning Arabic name
Maasym al-Miʿasam uth-Thurayyā the Wrist (of Hercules) معصم الثّريّا
Maaz al-Māʿaz the he-Goat المعز
Mankib Mankib (ul-Faras) the Shoulder (of the Horse) منكب الفرس
Marfik al-Mirfaq the Elbow المرفق
Markab Markab (ul-Faras) the Saddle (of the Horse) مركب الفرس
Matar al-Saʿad ul-Maṭar the lucky star of Rain سعد مطر
Mebsuta adh-Dhirāʿu l-Mabsūṭah the Outstretched (Paw) الذّراع المبسوطه
Megrez al-Maghriz the Base of the bear's tail مغرز
Meissa al-Maysān the Shining one الميسان
Mekbuda adh-Dhirāʿu l-Maqbūḍah the Folded (Arm) الذّراع المقبوضة
Menkalinan Mankib Dhiyi l-ʿInān Shoulder of the Rein-holder منكب ذي العنان
Menkar al-Minkhar the Nostril المنخر
Menkent Mankib ul-Qanṭūris the Shoulder of the Centaur منكب قنطورس
Menkib Al-Mankib uth-Thurayyā "The shoulder" of the Pleiades منكب الثّريّا
Merak al-Marāq the loins (of the bear) المراق
Mintaka al-Minṭaqah the Belt (of Orion) المنطقة
Mirak al-Marāq the Loin-cloth المراق
Mirfak al-Mirfaq uth-Thurayyā the Elbow مرفق الثّريّا
Mizar al-Mi'zar the Apron المئزر
Mothallah Ra'as ul-Muthallath (Head of) the Triangle الرعس المثلث
Muphrid Mufrid ur-Rāmiḥ the Solitary one of the Lancer المفرد الرامح
Murzim al-Murzim the Herald المرزم

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]

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

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]