Chinese star names

Chinese uranographytraditional Chinese nameChinese systems
Chinese star names (Chinese:, xīng míng) are named according to ancient Chinese astronomy and astrology. The sky is divided into star mansions (, xīng xiù, also translated as "lodges") and asterisms (, xīng guān). The system of 283 asterisms under Three Enclosures and Twenty-eight Mansions was established by Chen Zhuo of the Three Kingdoms period, who synthesized ancient constellations and the asterisms created by early astronomers Shi Shen, Gan De and Wu Xian. Since the Han and Jin Dynasties, stars have been given reference numbers within their asterisms in a system similar to the Bayer or Flamsteed designations, so that individual stars can be identified.

Stars and planetary systems in fiction

47 Ursae Majoris in fictionArcturus61 Cygni
The star system 61 Cygni, in the Sirius Sector, is advanced by Lord Dorwin as a potential site for the planet of origin of the human species. Time and Again (1951), novel by Clifford D. Simak. 61 Cygni is a mysterious system whose planets are impossible to approach. Mission of Gravity (1953), novel by Hal Clement. The binary 61 Cygni star system is home to the supermassive planet Mesklin, which rotates rapidly and is highly oblate, with a gravity of 3 g at the equator and 700 g at the poles.

History of astronomy

astronomyhistorian of astronomyBabylonians
The rising of Sirius (Egyptian: Sopdet, Greek: Sothis) at the beginning of the inundation was a particularly important point to fix in the yearly calendar. Writing in the Roman era, Clement of Alexandria gives some idea of the importance of astronomical observations to the sacred rites: And after the Singer advances the Astrologer, with a horologium in his hand, and a palm, the symbols of astrology. He must know by heart the Hermetic astrological books, which are four in number.

List of brightest stars

brightest starsbrightest starone of the brightest stars
Historical brightest stars: the brightest star in Earth's night sky at each period within the last or next 5 million years. List of largest stars. List of most luminous stars. List of nearest bright stars. List of nearest galaxies. List of nearest stars and brown dwarfs. Lists of constellations. Lists of stars. Lists of stars by constellation. Stars and planetary systems in fiction. 25 Brightest Stars, as Seen from the Earth. The Brightest Stars at An Atlas of the Universe. The Magnitude system. About stellar magnitudes.

Astronomical naming conventions

formally designatednaming conventionalso written
Fusor (astronomy). List of adjectivals and demonyms of astronomical bodies. List of astronomical objects named after people. List of basic astronomy topics. List of brightest stars. List of minor planets (includes asteroids). Planetary nomenclature. Proper names (astronomy). Provisional designation in astronomy. Cometary designation system from Minor Planet Circulars 23803-4. Committee on Small Body Nomenclature. Dictionary of nomenclature of astronomical objects. How do planets and their moons get their names?. IAU on Naming Astronomical Objects. IAU specifications for nomenclature. James Kaler on star names. New- And Old-Style Minor Planet Designations from the Minor Planet Center.

Table of stars with Bayer designations

This table lists those stars or other objects which have Bayer designations by the constellation in which those stars or objects lie. The name given is that of the article if it does not reflect the Bayer designation (e.g. Aldebaran instead of Alpha Tauri). Abbreviations are used in other cases.

List of brightest stars and other record stars

The main purpose for this list is the possibility to compare stars of different categories, like to compare the most luminous known star R136a1 with the brightest star of our sky Sirius, which is not possible with the existing lists in Lists of stars. For multiple values from different sources the average value is displayed. From binary star systems the brighter (A) star is considered except for magnitude and luminosity, where it is combined. More Properties (e.g. Temperature, Age) will be added. Data is yet to be added, verified and corrected.

Table of stars with Flamsteed designations

This table lists those stars/objects which have Flamsteed designations by the constellation in which those stars/objects lie. The name given is that of the article if it does not reflect the Flamsteed designation. If the star has a Greek-letter Bayer designation this is used in preference except where such designation contains an extra attached number; for example, "Rho-1 Cancri" is less common than "55 Cancri".

Timeline of the far future

far future40,000 years296,000 years
Close encounters between astronomical objects gravitationally fling planets from their star systems, and star systems from galaxies. Physicists expect that matter itself will eventually come under the influence of radioactive decay, as even the most stable materials break apart into subatomic particles. Current data suggest that the universe has a flat geometry (or very close to flat), and thus will not collapse in on itself after a finite time, and the infinite future allows for the occurrence of a number of massively improbable events, such as the formation of Boltzmann brains.

Absolute magnitude

Hbolometric magnitudeabsolute magnitude (H)
Examples include Rigel (−7.0), Deneb (−7.2), Naos (−6.0), and Betelgeuse (−5.6). For comparison, Sirius has an absolute magnitude of 1.4, which is brighter than the Sun, whose absolute visual magnitude is 4.83 (it actually serves as a reference point). The Sun's absolute bolometric magnitude is set arbitrarily, usually at 4.75. Absolute magnitudes of stars generally range from −10 to +17. The absolute magnitudes of galaxies can be much lower (brighter). For example, the giant elliptical galaxy M87 has an absolute magnitude of −22 (i.e. as bright as about 60,000 stars of magnitude −10).


supernovaecore-collapse supernovasupernovas
A number of close or well known stars have been identified as possible core collapse supernova candidates: the red supergiants Antares and Betelgeuse; the yellow hypergiant Rho Cassiopeiae; the luminous blue variable Eta Carinae that has already produced a supernova impostor; and the brightest component, a Wolf–Rayet star, in the Regor or Gamma Velorum system, Others have gained notoriety as possible, although not very likely, progenitors for a gamma-ray burst; for example WR 104. Identification of candidates for a Type Ia supernova is much more speculative. Any binary with an accreting white dwarf might produce a supernova although the exact mechanism and timescale is still debated.


trigonometric parallaxsolar parallaxmotion parallax
To measure large distances, such as the distance of a planet or a star from Earth, astronomers use the principle of parallax. Here, the term parallax is the semi-angle of inclination between two sight-lines to the star, as observed when Earth is on opposite sides of the Sun in its orbit. These distances form the lowest rung of what is called "the cosmic distance ladder", the first in a succession of methods by which astronomers determine the distances to celestial objects, serving as a basis for other distance measurements in astronomy forming the higher rungs of the ladder.

Proper motion

proper motionsproper-motionhigh proper motion star
Proper motion was suspected by early astronomers (according to Macrobius, AD 400) but a proof was not provided until 1718 by Edmund Halley, who noticed that Sirius, Arcturus and Aldebaran were over half a degree away from the positions charted by the ancient Greek astronomer Hipparchus roughly 1850 years earlier. The term "proper motion" derives from the historical use of "proper" to mean "belonging to" (cf, propre in French and the common English word property). "Improper motion" would refer to "motion" common to all stars, such as due to axial precession. The following are the stars with highest proper motion from the Hipparcos catalog.


α Carinaea first magnitude starCanopean
In Ancient Hindu astronomy and astrology, Canopus is named Agasti or Agastya. In traditional Tibetan astronomy and astrology, Canopus is named Karma Rishi སྐར་མ་རི་ཥི། Kalīla o Damna, an influential Pahlavi (Middle Persian) book of animal fables was later known as Anvar-i-Suhayli or The Lights of Canopus. Canopus was identified as the moiety ancestor Waa "Crow" to some Koori people in southeastern Australia. The Boorong people of northwestern Victoria recalled that War (Canopus) was the brother of Warepil (Sirius), and that he brought fire from the heavens and introduced it to mankind. His wife was Collowgullouric War (Eta Carinae).


planetsFormer classification of planetsplanetary-mass object
These schemes, which were based on geometry rather than the arithmetic of the Babylonians, would eventually eclipse the Babylonians' theories in complexity and comprehensiveness, and account for most of the astronomical movements observed from Earth with the naked eye. These theories would reach their fullest expression in the Almagest written by Ptolemy in the 2nd century CE. So complete was the domination of Ptolemy's model that it superseded all previous works on astronomy and remained the definitive astronomical text in the Western world for 13 centuries.

Hubble Space Telescope

Only a small fraction of astronomical objects are accessible to high-resolution ground-based imaging; in contrast Hubble can perform high-resolution observations of any part of the night sky, and on objects that are extremely faint. In addition to its scientific results, Hubble has also made significant contributions to aerospace engineering, in particular the performance of systems in low Earth orbit. These insights result from Hubble's long lifetime on orbit, extensive instrumentation, and return of assemblies to the Earth where they can be studied in detail.

Nicolas-Louis de Lacaille

LacailleNicolas Louis de LacailleNicolas-Louis de La Caille
Apart from constructing astronomical ephemerides and mathematical tables, he calculated a table of eclipses for 1800 years. Lalande said of him that, during a comparatively short life, he had made more observations and calculations than all the astronomers of his time put together. The quality of his work rivalled its quantity, while the disinterestedness and rectitude of his moral character earned him universal respect. On his return to Paris in 1754, following a diversion to Mauritius, Lacaille was distressed to find himself an object of public attention. He resumed his work at the Mazarin College.

Solar System

outer Solar Systeminner Solar SystemSol system
The largest nearby star is Sirius, a bright main-sequence star roughly 8.6 light-years away and roughly twice the Sun's mass and that is orbited by a white dwarf, Sirius B. The nearest brown dwarfs are the binary Luhman 16 system at 6.6 light-years. Other systems within ten light-years are the binary red-dwarf system Luyten 726-8 (8.7 ly) and the solitary red dwarf Ross 154 (9.7 ly). The closest solitary Sun-like star to the Solar System is Tau Ceti at 11.9 light-years. It has roughly 80% of the Sun's mass but only 60% of its luminosity.

Meteor shower

meteor showersmeteor stormfalling star
Meteors were conceived as an atmospheric phenomenon by many scientists (Alexander von Humboldt, Adolphe Qoetelet, Julius Schmidt) until the Italian astronomer Giovanni Schiaparelli ascertained the relation between meteors and comets in his work "Notes upon the astronomical theory of the falling stars" (1867). In the 1890s, Irish astronomer George Johnstone Stoney (1826–1911) and British astronomer Arthur Matthew Weld Downing (1850–1917), were the first to attempt to calculate the position of the dust at Earth's orbit. They studied the dust ejected in 1866 by comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle in advance of the anticipated Leonid shower return of 1898 and 1899.

Star formation

star-forming regionnew starsstar-forming
As a branch of astronomy, star formation includes the study of the interstellar medium (ISM) and giant molecular clouds (GMC) as precursors to the star formation process, and the study of protostars and young stellar objects as its immediate products. It is closely related to planet formation, another branch of astronomy. Star formation theory, as well as accounting for the formation of a single star, must also account for the statistics of binary stars and the initial mass function. Most stars do not form in isolation but as part of a group of stars referred as star cluster s or stellar associations.

Electromagnetic spectrum

spectrumspectrawhite light
In astronomy, the accretion disks around neutron stars and black holes emit X-rays, enabling studies of these phenomena. X-rays are also emitted by the coronas of stars and are strongly emitted by some types of nebulae. However, X-ray telescopes must be placed outside the Earth's atmosphere to see astronomical X-rays, since the great depth of the atmosphere of Earth is opaque to X-rays (with areal density of 1000 grams per cm 2 ), equivalent to 10 meters thickness of water. This is an amount sufficient to block almost all astronomical X-rays (and also astronomical gamma rays—see below). After hard X-rays come gamma rays, which were discovered by Paul Ulrich Villard in 1900.


x-rayssoft x-rayx rays
X-ray astronomy, which is an observational branch of astronomy, which deals with the study of X-ray emission from celestial objects. X-ray microscopic analysis, which uses electromagnetic radiation in the soft X-ray band to produce images of very small objects. X-ray fluorescence, a technique in which X-rays are generated within a specimen and detected. The outgoing energy of the X-ray can be used to identify the composition of the sample. Industrial radiography uses X-rays for inspection of industrial parts, particularly welds. Authentication and quality control, X-ray is used for authentication and quality control of packaged items.

Gamma-ray burst

gamma ray burstgamma-ray burstsgamma ray bursts
MASTER: Mobile Astronomical System of the Telescope-Robots. ROTSE: Robotic Optical Transient Search Experiment (Wiki entry).

Pole star

polar starNorth Starpole stars
Astronomy on Mars#Celestial poles and ecliptic. Celestial equator. Celestial navigation. Circumpolar star. Myōken Bosatsu.

Giuseppe Piazzi

PiazziG. PiazziPiazzi, G.
One of them, 61 Cygni, was specially appointed as a good candidate for measuring a parallax, which was later performed by Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel. The star system 61 Cygni is sometimes still called variously Piazzi's Flying Star and Bessel's Star. Piazzi discovered Ceres. On 1 January 1801 Piazzi discovered a "stellar object" that moved against the background of stars. At first he thought it was a fixed star, but once he noticed that it moved, he became convinced it was a planet, or as he called it, "a new star". In his journal, he wrote: "The light was a little faint, and of the colour of Jupiter, but similar to many others which generally are reckoned of the eighth magnitude.