Constellations

Table
Constellations
name genitive form meaning remarks*
Constellations described by Ptolemy: the zodiac
Aries Arietis Ram
Taurus Tauri Bull Aldebaran; Pleiades, M1 (Crab Nebula)
Gemini Geminorum Twins Castor, Pollux
Cancer Cancri Crab Praesepe (star cluster)
Leo Leonis Lion Regulus
Virgo Virginis Virgin Spica; Virgo cluster of galaxies
Libra Librae Balance
Scorpius Scorpii Scorpion Antares; many star clusters
Sagittarius Sagittarii Archer Galactic centre; many star clusters
Capricornus Capricorni Sea-goat
Aquarius Aquarii Water-bearer
Pisces Piscium Fishes
Other Ptolemaic constellations
Andromeda Andromedae Andromeda (Princess) M31 (Andromeda Galaxy)
Aquila Aquilae Eagle Altair
Ara Arae Altar
Argo Navis Argus Navis Ship Argo now divided into Carina, Puppis, Pyxis, and Vela
Auriga Aurigae Charioteer Capella; M36, M37, M38 (open star clusters)
Boötes Boötis Herdsman Arcturus
Canis Major Canis Majoris Greater Dog Sirius (brightest star)
Canis Minor Canis Minoris Smaller Dog Procyon
Cassiopeia Cassiopeiae Cassiopeia (Queen) Tycho's nova, 1572 (visible in daytime)
Centaurus Centauri Centaur Alpha Centauri (nearest star to Sun), Beta
Cepheus Cephei Cepheus (King) Delta Cephei (prototype for Cepheid variables)
Cetus Ceti Whale Mira (first recognized variable star)
Corona Austrina Coronae Austrinae Southern Crown
Corona Borealis Coronae Borealis Northern Crown
Corvus Corvi Raven
Crater Crateris Cup
Cygnus Cygni Swan "Northern Cross"; Deneb
Delphinus Delphini Dolphin "Job's Coffin"
Draco Draconis Dragon Thuban (polestar in 3000 BC)
Equuleus Equulei Little Horse
Eridanus Eridani River Eridanus or river god Achernar
Hercules Herculis Hercules (Greek hero) M13 (globular star cluster)
Hydra Hydrae Water Snake
Lepus Leporis Hare
Lupus Lupi Wolf
Lyra Lyrae Lyre Vega; M57 (Ring Nebula)
Ophiuchus Ophiuchi Serpent-bearer
Orion Orionis Hunter Rigel, Betelgeuse; M42 (Orion Nebula)
Pegasus Pegasi Pegasus (winged horse) "Great Square"
Perseus Persei Perseus (Greek hero)
Piscis Austrinus Piscis Austrini Southern Fish Fomalhaut
Sagitta Sagittae Arrow
Serpens Serpentis Serpent
Triangulum Trianguli Triangle M33 (nearby spiral galaxy)
Ursa Major Ursae Majoris Great Bear seven brightest stars are Big Dipper or Plough
Ursa Minor Ursae Minoris Lesser Bear Polaris (the north polestar)
Southern constellations, added c. 1600
Apus Apodis Bird of Paradise
Chamaeleon Chamaeleontis Chameleon
Dorado Doradus Swordfish Large Magellanic Cloud
Grus Gruis Crane
Hydrus Hydri Water Snake
Indus Indi Indian
Musca Muscae Fly
Pavo Pavonis Peacock
Phoenix Phoenicis Phoenix (mythical bird)
Triangulum Australe Trianguli Australis Southern Triangle
Tucana Tucanae Toucan Small Magellanic Cloud
Volans Volantis Flying Fish
Constellations of Bartsch, 1624
Camelopardalis Camelopardalis Giraffe
Columba Columbae Dove constellation formed by Plancius, 1605
Monoceros Monocerotis Unicorn
Constellations of Hevelius, 1687
Canes Venatici Canum Venaticorum Hunting Dogs M51 (Whirlpool Galaxy)
Lacerta Lacertae Lizard
Leo Minor Leonis Minoris Lesser Lion
Lynx Lyncis Lynx
Scutum Scuti Shield
Sextans Sextantis Sextant
Vulpecula Vulpeculae Fox M27 (Dumbbell Nebula)
Ancient asterisms now separate constellations
Carina Carinae Keel [of Argo] Canopus
Coma Berenices Comae Berenices Berenice's Hair Coma (star cluster); north galactic pole
Crux Crucis [Southern] Cross Acrux, Becrux
Puppis Puppis Stern [of Argo]
Pyxis Pyxidis Compass [of Argo]
Vela Velorum Sails [of Argo]
Southern constellations of Lacaille, c. 1750
Antlia Antliae Pump
Caelum Caeli [Sculptor's] Chisel
Circinus Circini Drawing Compasses
Fornax Fornacis [Chemical] Furnace
Horologium Horologii Clock
Mensa Mensae Table [Mountain]
Microscopium Microscopii Microscope
Norma Normae Square
Octans Octantis Octant south celestial pole
Pictor Pictoris Painter's [Easel]
Reticulum Reticuli Reticle
Sculptor Sculptoris Sculptor's [Workshop] south galactic pole
Telescopium Telescopii Telescope
*First-magnitude stars are given in italics.
See as table:

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

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