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Myriads of Blazing Suns

The Southern Cross

How to Tell the Time

An Infallible Direction Indicator

Outstanding Stars

Stars of the Centaur

Strange Aboriginal Folklore

A Glowing Mass of Stars

Super Suns of the Heavens

The False Cross

The Southern Triangle

Ara and The Scorpion

Other Stars



outstanding stars

More than 100 of the most prominent stars in the ,sky have "proper" n am es, many of them Arabic in origin. This applies mainly to those seen from northern latitudes, so that it is not sur­prising that, except the star at the foot of the Cross which is occasionally re­ferred to as A-crux, none of the stars of this constellation has a special n am e.

Commencing at this brilliant one at the foot and reading in a clockwise direction, the main stars are observed to grow steadily fainter. They are designated Alpha (a) , Beta (b), Gamma (T), and Delta (d) , in that order.

By international agreement, the whole sky has been divided into zones containing groups of stars or constella­tions, and the individual stars have been lettered and numbered—usually com­mencing with the Greek alphabet for the brightest ones. So we have Alpha Crucis (Alpha of the Cross) , Beta Crucis, and so on. Achernar is the proper n am e for Alpha Eridani or Alpha of Eridanus.


Wonder Book of Knowledge