Sunday, May 13, 2012

You're A Star

Another random just-for-fun list--this time, a list of celestial objects. Perhaps it's a bit fanciful of me, but I think it'd be fun to take a child out stargazing, and be able to point out "his (or "her)" star.
Unsurprisingly, many star-names have featured heavily in science-fiction, as well as video games. Several are also the names of U.S. Navy ships. 
Few of these are used on people, but if there is precedent, I've noted it.
Another point of note--many of our traditional star names were originally Arabic, but since they've been transliterated & copied many times over the centuries, like an epic game of "Telephone", they mostly only bear passing resemblance to the original word/phrase.

  • Acamar (ah-kah-MAR)--from Arabic, "river's end". Constellation Eridanus (Theta Eridani).
  • Achernar (ah-khehr-NAHR)--from Arabic, "river's end". Constellation Eridanus (Alpha Eridani).
  • Alcyone (al-SYE-on-ee)--from Greek, "kingfisher" [named for Alcyone of Greek mythology]. Constellation Taurus. 
  • Alkes (AL-kes)--from Arabic, "the cup". Constellation Crater.
  • Almach (AL-mak)--from Arabic, "the caracal". Constellation Andromeda.
  • Alnair (al-NAIR)--from Arabic, "the bright one". Constellation Grus.
  • Alnilam (ahl-nee-LAHM)--from Arabic, "string of pearls".Constellation Orion.
  • Altair (ahl-TAIR)--from Arabic, "flying eagle". Constellation Aquila.
  • Aludra (ah-LOO-drah)--from Arabic, "the maiden". Constellation Canis Major.
  • Ankaa (ahn-kah)--from Arabic, "the phoenix". Constellation Phoenix.
  • Arcturus (ark-TOO-rus)--from Greek, "guardian of the bear". Called Swati (SWAHT-hee) in Hindi [sometimes used as a feminine name], and Al Simak in Arabic. Constellation Boötes.
  • Arneb (AR-neb)--from Arabic, "the hare". Constellation Lepus.
  • Atria (AT-ree-ah)--from a contraction of its scientific [Bayer] designation, Alpha Trianguli Australis. Constellation Trianguli Australis.
  • Avior (AY-vee-or)--coined by the R.A.F., likely from "aviator". Constellation Carina.
  • Azha (ah-ZAH)--from Persian, "nest". Constellation Eridanus.
  • Bellatrix (BEL-lah-triks)--from Latin "female warrior". Constellation Orion.
  • Bered (beh-REHD)--from Hebrew, "storm". Constellation Aquila.
  • Cebalrai (seb-ahl-RYE)--from Arabic, "shepherd-dog". Constellation Ophiuchus.
  • Celaeno (sel-EE-no)--from Greek, "dark one". [Named for Celaeno of Greek mythology] Constellation Taurus; one of the Pleiades.
  • Eltanin (el-tah-NEEN)--from Arabic, "great serpent". Constellation Draco.
  • Errai (ehr-RYE)--from Arabic, "the shepherd". Constellation Cepheus.
  • Gemma (JEM-mah)--from Latin, "jewel". [feminine name in English & Italian] Constellation Corona Borealis.
  • Gienah (jen-AH)--from Arabic, "wing". Constellation Corvus, and Constellation Cygnus.
  • Gomeisa (gom-EE-sah)--from Arabic, "teary-eyed woman". Constellation Canis Minor.
  • Izar (ee-ZAHR)--from Arabic, "veil" [coincidentally, also a female name in Basque, meaning "star"]. Constellation Boötes.
  • Maia (MYE-ah)--from Greek, "mother". [Named for Maia of Greek mythology] Constellation Taurus; one of the Pleiades.
  • Matar (MAHT-ahr)--from Arabic, "rain". Constellation Pegasus.
  • Meissa (MAYS-sah)--from Arabic, "the shining one". Constellation Orion.
  • Merope (MEHR-oh-pee)--from Greek, meaning unknown. [Named for Merope of Greek mythology] Constellation Taurus, one of the Pleiades.
  • Mira (MEER-ah)--from Latin, "astonishing" [unrelated feminine name in many cultures] Binary star. Constellation Cetus.
  • Muphrid (moo-FRID)--from Arabic, "individual". Constellation Boötes.
  • Murzim (MUR-zim)--from Arabic, "herald". Constellation Canis Major.
  • Naos (NAY-os)--from Greek, "ship". Constellation Puppis.
  • Nashira (NAH-sheer-ah)--from Arabic, "bringer of good news". Constellation Capricornus.
  • Nunki (NOON-kee)--from Babylonian, meaning unknown. Constellation Sagittarius.
  • Rana (RAH-nah)--from Latin, "frog". Constellation Eridanus.
  • Sabik (SAH-beek)--from Arabic, "preceding". Constellation Ophiuchus.
  • Saiph (sah-eef)--from Arabic, "sword". Constellation Orion.
  • Sheratan (shehr-ah-TAHN)--from Arabic, "the two signs". Constellation Aries.
  • Sirius (SEER-ee-us)--from Greek via Latin, "glowing". Constellation Canis Major.
  • Spica (SPYE-kah)--from Latin, "ear [of grain]". Constellation Virgo.
  • Subra (SOO-brah)--from Arabic, "mane". Constellation Leo.
  • Suhail (soo-HAYL)--from Arabic, "glorious" [Common masculine name in Arabic] Constellation Vela.
  • Turais (too-RAYS)--from Arabic, "little shield". Constellation Carina.
  • Vega (VEH-gah)--from Arabic, "falling, landing". Constellation Lyra.
  • Zaurak (ZAWR-ak)--from Arabic, "boat". Constellation Eridanus.

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