Constellations Histoty
Guide

Constellations History

Lesson 1


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The aim of this lesson is to get students who don't know the constellations to get familiar with them. 

When referred to, the original Greek constellations tend to be the 48 listed by Claudius Ptolemy (73-151 AD). However, there were constellations listed before Ptolemy’s time on the uranographic globe of Eudoxus of Knidos (c. 403-350 BC). That no work of Eudoxus survives is disappointing. Most of his 44 constellations were included c. 270 BC in the poet Aratus’s Phainomena. Aratus lived in the court of the Macedonian king, Antigonas Gonatas.


LIST OF CONSTELLATIONS BY EUDOXUS

from the work of Aratus


NORTHERN

Modern name: Andromeda; abbreviation: And; The Chained Maiden 

Named stars: Adhil (ξ), Alamak (γ1), Almach (γ), Alpheratz or Sirrah (α), Mirach (β)


Modern name: Sagitta; abbreviation: Sge; The Arrow 

Named stars: Sham (α)


Modern name: Boötes; abbreviation: Boo; The Herdsman 

Named stars: Arcturus (α), Izar (ε), Seginus (γ), Muphrid (η), Nekkar (β), Princeps (δ), Alkalurops (μ1)


Modern name: Cygnus; abbreviation: Cyg; The Swan 

Named stars: Deneb (α), Gienah (ε), Sadr (γ), Albireo (β), Fawaris (δ), Azelfafage (π1)


Modern name: Auriga; abbreviation: Aur; The Charioteer

Named stars: Capella (α), Almaaz (ε), Haedus (η), Menkalinan (β), Sadatoni (ζ), Kabdhilinan (ι), Praja (δ), Al Hiba I (λ), Al Hiba II (μ), Al Hiba III (σ)


Modern name: Corona Borealis; abbreviation: CrB; The Crown

Named stars: Alphecca (α), Nusakan (β)


Modern name: Triangulum; abbreviation: Tri; The Northern Triangle

Named stars: Mothallah (α), Deltotum (β)


Modern name: Delphinus; abbreviation: Del; The Dolphin

Named stars: Sualocin (α), Rotanev (β), Aldulfin (ε), Musica (18)


Modern name: Aquila; abbreviation: Aql; The Eagle

Named stars: Altair (α), Tarazed (γ), Okab (ζ), Al Mizan III (θ), Al Mizan I (δ), Al Thalimain (λ), Alschain (β), Al Mizan II (η), Libertas (ξ)


Modern name: Ursa Major; abbreviation: UMa; The Great Bear

Named stars: Alioth (ε), Dubhe (α), Alkaid (η), Mizar A (ζ), Merak (β), Phad (γ), Ta Tsun (ψ), Tania Australis (μ), Talitha (ι), Sarir (θ), Megrez (δ), Muscida (ο), Tania Borealis (λ), Alula Borealis (ν), Al Kaprah (κ), Alula Australis (ξ), Mizar B (ζ), Alcor (g)


Modern name: Pegasus; abbreviation: Peg; The Winged Horse

Named stars: Enif (ε), Scheat (β), Markab (α), Algenib (γ), Matar (η), Homam (ζ), Sadalbari (μ), Baham (θ), Sadalpheretz (λ), Alkarab (υ), Salm (τ)


Modern name: Cassiopeia; abbreviation: Cas; The Vain Queen of Aethiopia

Named stars: Navi (γ), Schedar (α), Caph (β), Ruchbah (δ), Segin (ε), Archird (η), Marfak (θ), Castula (υ2)


Modern name: Cepheus; abbreviation: Cep; The King of Aethiopia

Named stars: Alderamin (α), Arrai (γ), Alfirk (β), Al Kidr (η), Garnet Star (μ), Kurhah (ξ)


Modern name: Hercules; abbreviation: Her; The Hero or Kneeler

Named stars: Kornephoros (β), Rutilicus (ζ), Sarin (δ), Ras Algethi (α1), Marfak (μ), Rukbalgethi Genubi (θ), Rukbalgethi Shemali (τ), Cujam (ε), Misam (λ)


Modern name: Ursa Minor; abbreviation: UMi; The Little Bear

Named stars: Polaris (α), Kochab (β), Pherkad (γ), Yildun (δ)


Modern name: Lyra; abbreviation: Lyr; The Lyre

Named stars: Vega (α), Sulafat (γ), Sheliak (β), Aladfar (η), Alathfar (μ)


Modern name: Perseus; abbreviation: Per; The Hero

Named stars: Mirfak (α), Algol (β), Atik (ζ), Gorgonea Tertia (ρ), Miram (η), Misam (κ), Menkib (ξ)


Modern name: Draco; abbreviation: Dra; The Dragon

Named stars: Eltanin (γ), Aldibain (η), Rastaban (β), Altais (δ), Aldhibah (ζ), Edasich (ι), Thuban (α), Grumium (ξ), Giausar (λ), Tyl (ε), Dziban (ψ1), Alsafi (σ)


Modern name: Ophiuchus; abbreviation: Oph; The Serpent Bearer

Named stars: Ras Alhague (α), Sabik (η), Han (ζ), Yed Prior (δ), Cebalrai (β), Yed Posterior (ε), Garafsa (θ), Sinistra (ν), Giausar (λ), Muliphen (γ), Marfik (λ)


ZODIACAL

Modern name: Aries; abbreviation: Ari; The Ram

Named stars: Hamal (α), Sheratan (β), Sheliak (β), Bharani (41), Lilii Borea (39), Mesarthim (γ2)


Modern name: Taurus; abbreviation: Tau; The Bull

Named stars: Aldebaran (α), El Nath (β), Alcyone A (η), Tianguan (ζ), Chamukuy (θ2), Ain (ε), Atlas A (27), Haydum I (γ), Electra (17), Haydum II (δ1), Maia (20), Merope (23), Taygeta (19), Pleione (28), Celaeno (16), Asterope I (21)

The Clusterers was a constellation in Aratus’s time based on the Pleiades open cluster in Taurus.


Modern name: Gemini; abbreviation: Gem; The Twins

Named stars: Pollux (β), Castor A (α), Alhena (γ), Tejat (μ), Mebsuta (ε), Propus (η), Alzir (ξ), Wasat (δ)


Modern name: Cancer; abbreviation: Cnc; The Crab

Named stars: Al Tarf (β), Asellus Australis (δ), Acubens (α), Asellus Borealis (γ), Tegmine (ζ), Nahn (ξ)


Modern name: Leo; abbreviation: Leo; The Lion

Named stars: Regulus (α), Denebola (β), Algieba (γ1), Zosma (δ), Algenubi (ε), Chertan (θ), Adhafera (ζ), Al Jabhah (η), Subra (ο), Rasalas (μ)


Modern name: Virgo; abbreviation: Vir; The Goddess of Justice

Named stars: Spica (α), Vindemiatrix (ε), Heze (ζ), Minelauva (δ), Zavijava (β), Zaniah (η), Syrma (ι), Kang (κ), Khambalia (λ), Elgafar (φ)


Modern name: Libra; abbreviation: Lib; The Scales of Justice

Named stars: Zuben Eschamali (β), Zuben El Genubi (α2), Brachium (σ), Zuben Al Akrab (γ), Zuben Al Akribi (δ), Zuben Hakrabim (ν), Zuben Hakrabi (η)

The Scales were called ‘The Claws’ in Aratus’s time.


Modern name: Scorpius; abbreviation: Sco; The Scorpion

Named stars: Antares A (α), Shaula (λ), Sargas (θ), Dschubba (δ), Larawag (ε), Mula (κ), Acrab (β1), Lesath (υ), Fang (π), Girtab (ι1), Iklil (ρ), Jabbah (ν), Vanant (ζ2)


Modern name: Sagittarius; abbreviation: Sgr; The Archer

Named stars: Kaus Australis (ε), Nunki (σ), Ascella (ζ), Kaus Media (δ), Kaus Borealis (λ), Nash (γ2), Polis (μ), Arkab Prior (β1), Rukbat (α), Arkab Posterior (β2), Terebellum (ω)


Modern name: Capricornus; abbreviation: Cap; The Sea Goat

Named stars: Deneb Algedi (δ), Dabih (β1), Giedi (α2), Nashira (γ), Algedi Prima (α1), Castra (ε), Alshat (ν), Bos (ρ), Armus (η)


Modern name: Aquarius; abbreviation: Aqr; The Water Carrier

Named stars: Sadal Suud (β), Sadal Melik (α), Skat (δ), Sadaltager (ζ1), Hydor (λ), Al Bali (ε), Sadachbia (γ), Ancha (θ), Albulaan (ν), Bunda (ξ), Albulaan (μ), Seat (π), Situla (κ)


Modern name: Pisces; abbreviation: Psc; The Fishes

Named stars: Alpherg (η), Simmah (γ), Cauda Piscis (ω), Torcular (ο), Kaht (ε), Al Bali (ε), Alrescha (α), Linteum (δ), Samaka (β), Anunitum (τ), Revati (ζ)


SOUTHERN

Modern name: Ara; abbreviation: Ara; The Altar

Named stars: Cervantes (μ)


Modern name: N/A – abbreviation: N/A; The Ship Argo or Argo Navis

See Carina, Vela, and Puppis under Lacaille


Modern name: Crater; abbreviation: Crt; The Cup

Named stars: Labrum (δ), Alkes (α), Al Sharasif II (β)


Modern name: Centaurus; abbreviation: Cen; The Centaur

Named stars: Rigil Kent (α1), Hadar (β), Toliman (α1), Menkent (θ), Muhlifain (γ), Alnair (ζ)


Modern name: Corvus; abbreviation: Crv; The Crow

Named stars: Gienah (γ), Kraz (β), Algorab (δ), Minkar (ε), Al Chiba (α)


Modern name: Canis Major; abbreviation: CMa; The Big Dog

Named stars: Sirius A (α), Adhara (ε), Wezen (δ), Mirzam (β), Aludra (η), Furud (ζ), Unurgunite (σ), Muliphein (γ)


Modern name: Piscis Austrinus; abbreviation: PsA; The Southern Fish

Named stars: Fomalhaut (α)


Modern name: Lepus; abbreviation: Lep; The Hare

Named stars: Arneb (α), Nihal (β), Kursi al Jabbar (γ), Arsh al Jauzah (δ)


Modern name: Orion; abbreviation: Ori; The Hunter

Named stars: Rigel (β), Betelgeuse (σ), Bellatrix (γ), Alnilam (ε), Alnitak (ζ), Saiph (κ), Mintaka (δ), Hatysa (ι), Tabit (π3), Saif al Jabbar (η), Meissa (λ), Thabit (υ)


Modern name: Cetus; abbreviation: Cet; The Sea Monster or Whale

Named stars: Diphda (β), Menkar (α), Mira (ο), Deneb Algenubi (η), Kaffaljidhma (γ), Thalath al Naamat (τ), Deneb Kaitos (ι), Thanih al Naamat (θ), Baten Kaitos (ζ)


Modern name: Eridanus; abbreviation: Eri; The River Eridanus

Named stars: Achernar (α), Cursa (β), Acamar (θ1), Zaurak (γ), Rana (δ), Ran (ε), Beemin (υ2), Sceptum (53), Azha (η), Beid (ο1), Keid (40), Angetenar (τ2)


Modern name: Hydra; abbreviation: Hya; The Water Snake

Named stars: Alphard (α), Dhanab (γ), Hydrobius (ζ), Ashlesha (ε), Ukdah (ι)


Aratus did not name the Southern Crown but mentioned the following stars:

Arktouros: The Bear-watcher
Stachys: Ear-of-corn (today’s Spica)
Protrygeter: Fruit-plucking-herald (today’s Vindemiatrix in Virgo)
Seirios: Scorcher
Prokyon: Dog’s Precursor

Eratosthenes (c. 276-195 BC) listed 42 constellations. Hipparchus (c. 146-127 BC) listed 49 constellations in his Catalog and 46 constellations in his Commentary on Eudoxus and Aratos.


LIST OF CONSTELLATIONS BY PTOLEMY

Claudius Ptolemy (c. 100 – c. 170)


NORTH

Named stars: Adhil (ξ), Alamak (γ1), Almach (γ), Alpheratz (α), Mirach (β)

Named stars: Sham (α)

Named stars: Arcturus (α), Izar (ε), Seginus (γ), Muphrid (η), Nekkar (β), Princeps (δ), Alkalurops (μ1)

Named stars: Deneb (α), Gienah (ε), Sadr (γ), Albireo (β), Fawaris (δ), Azelfafage (π1)

Named stars: Capella (α), Almaaz (ε), Haedus (η), Menkalinan (β), Sadatoni (ζ), Kabdhilinan (ι), Praja (δ), Al Hiba I (λ), Al Hiba II (μ), Al Hiba III (σ)

Named stars: Sualocin (α), Rotanev (β), Aldulfin (ε), Musica (18)

Named stars: Altair (α), Tarazed (γ), Okab (ζ), Al Mizan III (θ), Al Mizan I (δ), Al Thalimain (λ), Alschain (β), Al Mizan II (η), Libertas (ξ)

Modern name: Equuleus; abbreviation: Equ; The Little Horse

Named stars: Kitalpha (α)


Named stars: Alioth (ε), Dubhe (α), Alkaid (η), Mizar A (ζ), Merak (β), Phad (γ), Ta Tsun (ψ), Tania Australis (μ), Talitha (ι), Sarir (θ), Megrez (δ), Muscida (ο), Tania Borealis (λ), Alula Borealis (ν), Al Kaprah (κ), Alula Australis (ξ), Mizar B (ζ), Alcor (g)

Named stars: Enif (ε), Scheat (β), Markab (α), Algenib (γ), Matar (η), Homam (ζ), Sadalbari (μ), Baham (θ), Sadalpheretz (λ), Alkarab (υ), Salm (τ)

Named stars: Navi (γ), Schedar (α), Caph (β), Ruchbah (δ), Segin (ε), Archird (η), Marfak (θ), Castula (υ2)

Named stars: Alderamin (α), Arrai (γ), Alfirk (β), Al Kidr (η), Garnet Star (μ), Kurhah (ξ)

Named stars: Kornephoros (β), Rutilicus (ζ), Sarin (δ), Ras Algethi (α1), Marfak (μ), Rukbalgethi Genubi (θ), Rukbalgethi Shemali (τ), Cujam (ε), Misam (λ)

Named stars: Polaris (α), Kochab (β), Pherkad (γ), Yildun (δ)

Named stars: Vega (α), Sulafat (γ), Sheliak (β), Aladfar (η), Alathfar (μ)

Named stars: Alphecca (α), Nusakan (β)

Named stars: Mirfak (α), Algol (β), Atik (ζ), Gorgonea Tertia (ρ), Miram (η), Misam (κ), Menkib (ξ)

Named stars: Arcturus (α), Izar (ε), Seginus (γ), Muphrid (η), Nekkar (β), Princeps (δ), Alkalurops (μ1)

Named stars: Eltanin (γ), Aldibain (η), Rastaban (β), Altais (δ), Aldhibah (ζ), Edasich (ι), Thuban (α), Grumium (ξ), Giausar (λ), Tyl (ε), Dziban (ψ1), Alsafi (σ)

Named stars: Ras Alhague (α), Sabik (η), Han (ζ), Yed Prior (δ), Cebalrai (β), Yed Posterior (ε), Garafsa (θ), Sinistra (ν), Giausar (λ), Muliphen (γ), Marfik (λ)

Named stars: Unukalhai (α), Donghai (η), Nanhai (ξ), Chow (β), Ainalhai (γ), Gudja (κ), Alya (θ1)

Named stars: Deltotum (β), Mothallah (α)


ZODIACAL

Named stars: Hamal (α), Sheratan (β), Sheliak (β), Bharani (41), Lilii Borea (39), Mesarthim (γ2)

Named stars: Aldebaran (α), El Nath (β), Alcyone A (η), Tianguan (ζ), Chamukuy (θ2), Ain (ε), Atlas A (27), Haydum I (γ), Electra (17), Haydum II (δ1), Maia (20), Merope (23), Taygeta (19), Pleione (28), Celaeno (16), Asterope I (21)

Named stars: Pollux (β), Castor A (α), Alhena (γ), Tejat (μ), Mebsuta (ε), Propus (η), Alzir (ξ), Wasat (δ)

Named stars: Al Tarf (β), Asellus Australis (δ), Acubens (α), Asellus Borealis (γ), Tegmine (ζ), Nahn (ξ)

Named stars: Regulus (α), Denebola (β), Algieba (γ1), Zosma (δ), Algenubi (ε), Chertan (θ), Adhafera (ζ), Al Jabhah (η), Subra (ο), Rasalas (μ)

Named stars: Spica (α), Vindemiatrix (ε), Heze (ζ), Minelauva (δ), Zavijava (β), Zaniah (η), Syrma (ι), Kang (κ), Khambalia (λ), Elgafar (φ)

Named stars: Zuben Eschamali (β), Zuben El Genubi (α2), Brachium (σ), Zuben Al Akrab (γ), Zuben Al Akribi (δ), Zuben Hakrabim (ν), Zuben Hakrabi (η). The Scales in Ptolemy’s time was known as ‘The Claws’ (of the scorpion).

Named stars: Antares A (α), Shaula (λ), Sargas (θ), Dschubba (δ), Larawag (ε), Mula (κ), Acrab (β1), Lesath (υ), Fang (π), Girtab (ι1), Iklil (ρ), Jabbah (ν), Vanant (ζ2)

Named stars: Kaus Australis (ε), Nunki (σ), Ascella (ζ), Kaus Media (δ), Kaus Borealis (λ), Nash (γ2), Polis (μ), Arkab Prior (β1), Rukbat (α), Arkab Posterior (β2), Terebellum (ω)

Named stars: Deneb Algedi (δ), Dabih (β1), Giedi (α2), Nashira (γ), Algedi Prima (α1), Castra (ε), Alshat (ν), Bos (ρ), Armus (η)

Named stars: Sadal Suud (β), Sadal Melik (α), Skat (δ), Sadaltager (ζ1), Hydor (λ), Al Bali (ε), Sadachbia (γ), Ancha (θ), Albulaan (ν), Bunda (ξ), Albulaan (μ), Seat (π), Situla (κ)

Named stars: Alpherg (η), Simmah (γ), Cauda Piscis (ω), Torcular (ο), Kaht (ε), Al Bali (ε), Alrescha (α), Linteum (δ), Samaka (β), Anunitum (τ), Revati (ζ)


SOUTHERN

Named stars: See Carina, Puppis, and Vela under Nicolas Louis de Lacaille

Named stars: Labrum (δ), Alkes (α), Al Sharasif II (β)

Named stars: Cervantes (μ)

Named stars: Rigil Kent (α1), Hadar (β), Toliman (α1), Menkent (θ), Muhlifain (γ), Alnair (ζ)

Named stars: Gienah (γ), Kraz (β), Algorab (δ), Minkar (ε), Al Chiba (α)

Named stars: Sirius A (α), Adhara (ε), Wezen (δ), Mirzam (β), Aludra (η), Furud (ζ), Unurgunite (σ), Muliphein (γ)

Named stars: Procyon (α), Gomeisa (β)

Named stars: Arneb (α), Nihal (β), Kursi al Jabbar (γ), Arsh al Jauzah (δ)

Named stars: Rigel (β), Betelgeuse (σ), Bellatrix (γ), Alnilam (ε), Alnitak (ζ), Saiph (κ), Mintaka (δ), Hatysa (ι), Tabit (π3), Saif al Jabbar (η), Meissa (λ), Thabit (υ)

Named stars: Diphda (β), Menkar (α), Mira (ο), Deneb Algenubi (η), Kaffaljidhma (γ), Thalath al Naamat (τ), Deneb Kaitos (ι), Thanih al Naamat (θ), Baten Kaitos (ζ)

Named stars: Meridiana (α)

Named stars: Fomalhaut (α)

Named stars: Achernar (α), Cursa (β), Acamar (θ1), Zaurak (γ), Rana (δ), Ran (ε), Beemin (υ2), Sceptum (53), Azha (η), Beid (ο1), Keid (40), Angetenar (τ2)

Named stars: Men (α), Kekouan (β)

Named stars: Alphard (α), Dhanab (γ), Hydrobius (ζ), Ashlesha (ε), Ukdah (ι)

In Ptolemy's Almagest, the constellations list in books 7 and 8 appears to be the same as that of Hipparchus but edited by Ptolemy to account for the changes in precession between his time and that of Hipparchus – around 250 years. The list list stuck around for over 1,200 years after Ptolemy's death – such was his influence on how star-gazers in ancient Greece and Western Asia understood the night sky. His list of the constellations became a religion, like a canon. It was the authorized version.


THE NEW CONSTELLATIONS

Amerigo Vespucci (1451-1512)

Vespucci was an Italian navigator after whom America is named. He depicted two constellations in the southern sky.

Modern name: Crux; abbreviation: Cru; The Southern Cross

Named stars: Acrux (α), Mimosa (β), Gacrux (γ), Imai (δ), Ginan (ε)


Modern name: Triangulum Australe; abbreviation: TrA; The Southern Triangle

Named stars: Atria (α), Betria (β), Gatria (γ)


Gérard Mercator (1512-1594)

Gérard Mercator was a Dutch mapmaker known for the way he used Mercator projection for his navigational charts. Mercator also produced globes, scientific, and mathematical instruments. He invented one constellation:

Modern name: Coma Berenices; abbreviation: Com; Queen Berenices Hair

Named stars: Diadem (α), Kissin (21)


Johannes Hevelius (1611-1687)

The astronomer Johannes Hevelius from Gdańsk, Poland, is best known for his 'Moon studies.' However, in 1687, he finished a celestial atlas containing 56 engraved maps to accompany his star catalog, within which were seven new constellations he invented:

Modern name: Canes Venatici; abbreviation: CVn; The Hunting Dogs

Named stars: Cor Caroli (α), Chara (β), La Superba (γ)


Modern name: Lacerta; abbreviation: Lac; The Lizard

Named stars: None


Modern name: Leo Minor; abbreviation: LMi; The Little Lion

Named stars: Praecipua (46), Cor (20)


Modern name: Lynx; abbreviation: Lyn; The Lynx

Named stars: Alsciaukat (31)


Modern name: Scutum; abbreviation: Sct; The Shield

Named stars: None


Modern name: Sextans; abbreviation: Sex; The Sextant

Named stars: None


Modern name: Vulpecula; abbreviation: Vul; The Fox

Named stars: Anser (α)


Hevelius left behind an impressive track record in astronomy: he measured the Sun’s rotational period, was the first to witness the phases of Mercury, and gave the term ‘faculae’ to the solar photosphere’s bright areas.


Frederick de Houtman (1540-1627)

The Dutch navigator Frederick de Houtman sailed with Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser (see below) to the East Indies during the years 1595-7 and made plenty of observations of the southern skies. On his return, he handed his data to the Flemish mapmaker Petrus Plancius (see below), who distributed the information to astronomers and cartographers.

Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser (d. 1596)

Frederick de Houtman’s buddy and student of Plancius Petrus, Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser, also mapped the southern skies, including nearly 200 stars. He also identified the location of the South Celestial Pole. The pair of them introduced twelve new constellations, but one - Triangulum Australe - had been noted nearly a century earlier by Amerigo Vespucci in 1503. Keyser died during the voyage to the East Indies.

KEYSER & HOUTMAN’S CONSTELLATIONS

Modern name: Apus; abbreviation: Aps; The Bird of Paradise

Named stars: None


Modern name: Chamaeleon; abbreviation: Cha; The Chameleon

Named stars: None


Modern name: Dorado; abbreviation: Dor; The Dolphinfish

Named stars: None


Modern name: Grus; abbreviation: Gru; The Crane Bird

Named stars: Alnair (α), Tiaki (β), Al Dhanab (γ)


Modern name: Hydrus; abbreviation: Hyi; The Lesser Water Snake

Named stars: None


Modern name: Indus; abbreviation: Ind; The Indian

Named stars: The Persian (α)


Modern name: Musca; abbreviation: Mus; The Fly

Named stars: None


Modern name: Pavo; abbreviation: Pav; The Peacock

Named stars: The Peacock (α)


Modern name: Phoenix; abbreviation: Phe; The Phoenix Bird

Named stars: Ankaa (α), Wurren (ζ)


Modern name: Tucana; abbreviation: Tuc; The Toucan

Named stars: None


Modern name: Volans; abbreviation: Vol; The Flying Fish

Named stars: None


Petrus Plancius (1552-1622)

Petrus Plancius was a Flemish mapmaker and cartographer of the Dutch East India Company between 1602-19. He worked with data from Frederick de Houtman and Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser to produce maps of the southern sky. He invented three constellations:

Modern name: Camelopardalis; abbreviation: Cam; The Giraffe

Named stars: None


Modern name: Columba; abbreviation: Col; The Dove

Named stars: Phact (α), Wezn (β), Tsze (λ), Elkurud (θ), She (μ)


Modern name: Monoceros; abbreviation: Mon; The Unicorn

Named stars: None


Nicolas Louis de Lacaille (1713-1762)

Abbé Nicolas Louis de Lacaille was a French astronomer who occupied himself by cataloging the positions of thousands of stars. While in Cape Town, South Africa, between 1750 3, he could not avoid encountering stars that were not assigned to a particular constellation. After returning to France armed with lots of data, Lacaille published a star catalog and map with fourteen new constellations filling the southern sky’s 'gaps.' He did not imitate former cartographers and chose contemporary scientific apparatus and gear as objects represented by his new constellations:

Modern name: Antlia; abbreviation: Ant; The Water Pump

Named stars: None


Modern name: Caelum; abbreviation: Cae; The Chisel

Named stars: None


Modern name: Carina; abbreviation: Car; The Ship’s Keel

Named stars: Canopus (α), Miaplacidus (β), Avior (ε), Aspidiske (ι)


Modern name: Circinus; abbreviation: Cir; The Dividing Compass

Named stars: None


Modern name: Fornax; abbreviation: For; The Chemical Furnace

Named stars: Dalim (α)


Modern name: Horologium; abbreviation: Hor; The Clock

Named stars: None


Modern name: Mensa; abbreviation: Men; The Table Mountain

Named stars: None


Modern name: Microscopium; abbreviation: Mic; The Microscope

Named stars: None


Modern name: Norma; abbreviation: Nor; The Carpenter’s Square

Named stars: None


Modern name: Octans; abbreviation: Oct; The Octant

Named stars: None


Modern name: Pictor; abbreviation: Pic; The Painter’s Easel

Named stars: None


Modern name: Puppis; abbreviation: Pup; The Ship’s Stern

Named stars: Naos (ζ), Ahadi (π), Tureis (ρ), Azmidi (ξ), Markab (k1)


Modern name: Pyxis; abbreviation: Pyx; The Ship’s Compass

Named stars: None


Modern name: Reticulum; abbreviation: Ret; The Reticle

Named stars: None


Modern name: Sculptor; abbreviation: Scl; The Sculptor’s Workshop

Named stars: None


Modern name: Telescopium; abbreviation: Tel; The Telescope

Named stars: None


Modern name: Vela; abbreviation: Vel; The Ship’s Sails

Named stars: Regor (γ2), Alsephina (δ), Suhail (λ), Markeb (k), Peregrini (μ), Marut (N), Xestus (ο)


Lacaille cut Argo Navis into three parts - Carina, Puppis, and Vela. The International Astronomical Union ratified the splitting in 1928. The named stars of Argo Navis are retained, and were not invented by Lacaille.


NOW TAKE THE NAS TEST

HOW WELL DO YOU KNOW CONSTELLATION HISTORY?

DISTINCTION: 90-100%   GRADE 2: 75-89%   GRADE 3: 60-74%   GRADE 4: 40-59%

FAIL: 0-39%


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