Author Topic: Arcturus or Alpha Bootis  (Read 621 times)

kentifilitt

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Re: Arcturus or Alpha Bootis
« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2018, 06:23:37 PM »
Quote
On the other hand with the Greek letter / constellation system you learn the constellations, their locations and their stars.

I don't agree with this statement. Here's why. On your star chart it's all very tidy and each Constellation has a neat little border, just like the countries of Earth on a political map or globe. But when you look into the sky, there are no borders. Knowing the Bayer designations doesn't help you one iota in sorting out which stars belong to which constellations. Unless you have other knowledge that lets you know that two adjacent bright stars are members of different constellations, you would be just as likely to treat them as constellationally related and mis-designate the brighter of the two as "Alpha X" when in fact it isn't even part of constellation X.

The constellations themselves whether you mean the traditional figures made by connecting the dots with stars or the tidy borders you see on a star chart, are utterly arbitrary. As such, the only way to know that a given star is part of one constellation and not another is to actually learn something about the relative positions of those stars from something other than picking the brightest and calling it Alpha and then designating the next brightest nearby star as Beta, etc.

And besides, without knowing all the names, you won't be able to successfully do astrology.

Best,

Jim

Charles Marin

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Re: Arcturus or Alpha Bootis
« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2018, 04:41:02 AM »
I would prefer Bayer but most DSCs and go to mounts use proper names for all the alignment stars. The NexusDSC is the exception in that it also allows alignment from the bright star catalog and will also display the Bayer designation.

Dave

Justin Prasad

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Re: Arcturus or Alpha Bootis
« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2018, 07:01:34 AM »
I like proper names, and often just stand outside naming stars to make sure I never forget them. Star names are far from consistent though... I also happen to like OLD observing books, and occasionally preferences for names have changed over the last 100 years or so. So, aside from the most widely known names, if you really want to be sure you're understood, you also may have to include the Greek letter or number or whatever.
 Marty

boacamcentrumb

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Re: Arcturus or Alpha Bootis
« Reply #18 on: January 13, 2018, 11:06:26 AM »
Names can also draw attention to interesting stars. If the star chart had listed La Superba as simply Y CVn, I doubt I'd have gone to the trouble to observe it.

Dale Khan

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Re: Arcturus or Alpha Bootis
« Reply #19 on: January 14, 2018, 02:02:50 AM »
Quote
Quote

For someone learning the sky, is it better to learn star names (e.g Arcturus) or the naming convention that is Greek letter for relative brightness and Constellation (e.g. Alpha Bootis)
On one hand, it would seem easier to remember 100 star names. On the other hand with the Greek letter / constellation system you learn the constellations, their locations and their stars.


<p class="citation">Starman1, on 01 May 2017 - 9:33 PM, said:<a href="https://www.cloudynights.com/index.php?app=forums&amp;module=forums&amp;section=findpost&amp;pid=7856597" rel="citation">[/url]<blockquote class="ipsBlockquote built" data-author="Starman1" data-cid="7856597" data-time="1493667216"><p class="citation">dazzled, on 01 May 2017 - 9:26 PM, said:<a href="https://www.cloudynights.com/index.php?app=forums&amp;module=forums&amp;section=findpost&amp;pid=7856583" rel="citation">[/url]<blockquote class="ipsBlockquote built" data-author="dazzled" data-cid="7856583" data-time="1493666817">

Perhaps it pays to learn the 20 or 30 most common star names and then Bayer?

Agreed.
You should know at least the proper names of each of the 1st magnitude stars, but remembering names for the 2nd magnitude stars is a waste of time.
.....

[/quote]
Albireo is magnitude ~mag 3 or dimmer.[/quote]
Touche'

The names of interesting fainter stars will come naturally as part of the observing process.

BTW...without looking it up who knows the common name of Alpha Centauri, the only alpha star I know of that is better known by its Greek moniker.

Lance Soto

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Re: Arcturus or Alpha Bootis
« Reply #20 on: January 16, 2018, 11:22:59 PM »
Quote
Quote

For someone learning the sky, is it better to learn star names (e.g Arcturus) or the naming convention that is Greek letter for relative brightness and Constellation (e.g. Alpha Bootis)
On one hand, it would seem easier to remember 100 star names. On the other hand with the Greek letter / constellation system you learn the constellations, their locations and their stars.


<p class="citation">Starman1, on 01 May 2017 - 9:33 PM, said:<a href="https://www.cloudynights.com/index.php?app=forums&amp;module=forums&amp;section=findpost&amp;pid=7856597" rel="citation">[/url]<blockquote class="ipsBlockquote built" data-author="Starman1" data-cid="7856597" data-time="1493667216"><p class="citation">dazzled, on 01 May 2017 - 9:26 PM, said:<a href="https://www.cloudynights.com/index.php?app=forums&amp;module=forums&amp;section=findpost&amp;pid=7856583" rel="citation">[/url]<blockquote class="ipsBlockquote built" data-author="dazzled" data-cid="7856583" data-time="1493666817">

Perhaps it pays to learn the 20 or 30 most common star names and then Bayer?

Agreed.
You should know at least the proper names of each of the 1st magnitude stars, but remembering names for the 2nd magnitude stars is a waste of time.
.....

[/quote]
Albireo is magnitude ~mag 3 or dimmer.[/quote]
Touche'

The names of interesting fainter stars will come naturally as part of the observing process.

BTW...without looking it up who knows the common name of Alpha Centauri, the only alpha star I know of that is better known by its Greek moniker.[/quote]
رجل القنطورس, or the Centaur's Foot.

- Jim

Dan Square

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Re: Arcturus or Alpha Bootis
« Reply #21 on: January 18, 2018, 05:19:24 AM »
The famous long period variable star Mira isn't even naked eye visible much
of the time. Its assigned Greek letter O (Omicron) is just an approximation.
At its brightest it can equal or even exceed the alpha star in brightness.

I agree lots of times it's nice to know the star proper names. I don't use goto
but that technology seems to largely require knowing at least at few of the brightest
ones for alignment.

erenlinra

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Re: Arcturus or Alpha Bootis
« Reply #22 on: January 20, 2018, 06:08:15 PM »
Quote
Quote

For someone learning the sky, is it better to learn star names (e.g Arcturus) or the naming convention that is Greek letter for relative brightness and Constellation (e.g. Alpha Bootis)
On one hand, it would seem easier to remember 100 star names. On the other hand with the Greek letter / constellation system you learn the constellations, their locations and their stars.


<p class="citation">Starman1, on 01 May 2017 - 9:33 PM, said:<a href="https://www.cloudynights.com/index.php?app=forums&amp;module=forums&amp;section=findpost&amp;pid=7856597" rel="citation">[/url]<blockquote class="ipsBlockquote built" data-author="Starman1" data-cid="7856597" data-time="1493667216"><p class="citation">dazzled, on 01 May 2017 - 9:26 PM, said:<a href="https://www.cloudynights.com/index.php?app=forums&amp;module=forums&amp;section=findpost&amp;pid=7856583" rel="citation">[/url]<blockquote class="ipsBlockquote built" data-author="dazzled" data-cid="7856583" data-time="1493666817">

Perhaps it pays to learn the 20 or 30 most common star names and then Bayer?

Agreed.
You should know at least the proper names of each of the 1st magnitude stars, but remembering names for the 2nd magnitude stars is a waste of time.
.....

[/quote]
Albireo is magnitude ~mag 3 or dimmer.[/quote]
Touche'

The names of interesting fainter stars will come naturally as part of the observing process.

BTW...without looking it up who knows the common name of Alpha Centauri, the only alpha star I know of that is better known by its Greek moniker.[/quote]
رجل القنطورس, or the Centaur's Foot.

- Jim[/quote]
You're good...

Judges?

Gabriel Green

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Re: Arcturus or Alpha Bootis
« Reply #23 on: January 23, 2018, 06:56:25 AM »
Quote
Quote

For someone learning the sky, is it better to learn star names (e.g Arcturus) or the naming convention that is Greek letter for relative brightness and Constellation (e.g. Alpha Bootis)
On one hand, it would seem easier to remember 100 star names. On the other hand with the Greek letter / constellation system you learn the constellations, their locations and their stars.


<p class="citation">Starman1, on 01 May 2017 - 9:33 PM, said:<a href="https://www.cloudynights.com/index.php?app=forums&amp;module=forums&amp;section=findpost&amp;pid=7856597" rel="citation">[/url]<blockquote class="ipsBlockquote built" data-author="Starman1" data-cid="7856597" data-time="1493667216"><p class="citation">dazzled, on 01 May 2017 - 9:26 PM, said:<a href="https://www.cloudynights.com/index.php?app=forums&amp;module=forums&amp;section=findpost&amp;pid=7856583" rel="citation">[/url]<blockquote class="ipsBlockquote built" data-author="dazzled" data-cid="7856583" data-time="1493666817">

Perhaps it pays to learn the 20 or 30 most common star names and then Bayer?

Agreed.
You should know at least the proper names of each of the 1st magnitude stars, but remembering names for the 2nd magnitude stars is a waste of time.
.....

[/quote]
Albireo is magnitude ~mag 3 or dimmer.[/quote]
Touche'

The names of interesting fainter stars will come naturally as part of the observing process.

BTW...without looking it up who knows the common name of Alpha Centauri, the only alpha star I know of that is better known by its Greek moniker.[/quote]
Rigil Kentaurus, if I remember correctly.

wagishohots

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Re: Arcturus or Alpha Bootis
« Reply #24 on: January 23, 2018, 06:59:18 AM »
It does help to know a couple dozen names for the brighter stars (especially for alignment) but it's even more useful to learn the constellation "connect-the-dots" patterns
so you can find Equuleus and Lynx and Camelopardalis. Everyone should know all the brighter constellations.
I prefer the dots patterns as found in the 1960s S&amp;T centerfold charts, but many people prefer the new simplified dot patterns since they utilize only the brightest stars.
[Orion, for instance, is one of the few constellations drawn with the two arms. I rarely see Draco drawn with two parallel curves, or Scutum drawn as a medieval Crusader's shield with a long lower point.
The old charts did.]

Bryan Sonian

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Re: Arcturus or Alpha Bootis
« Reply #25 on: January 23, 2018, 07:41:50 AM »
It's worth pointing out that prior to last year, a major reason to avoid using "proper" star names except for the best-known stars was lack of standardization. The Yale Bright Star Catalog lists approximately 900 names for approximately 400 stars, meaning that most of these named stars have two or three names. Sometimes those are minor spelling variants, sometimes they're totally different. Far worse, there are many cases where a single name has been applied to multiple stars.

Dorritt Hoffleit, author of the BSC, explained why she included these names at all: "[The purpose of this list] is not to encourage, but rather, strongly to discourage the continued adoption of any but the most profusely used star names. The very bulk of the names should go far to discourage their use."

However, that changed last year when the International Astronomical Union published a list of 212 officially approved "traditional" names. That brings the total of "official" star names to 227, including exoplanet-star names approved before. Here's the article that I wrote for Sky &amp; Telescope on the subject.

I have mixed feelings about the IAU's desire to encourage the use of "proper" star names. Obviously they got egg all over their collective face with respect to Pluto. But this particular job was much better done than the infamous dwarf-planet definition, which was done in the heat of the moment without adequate thought.

esrescioripp

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Re: Arcturus or Alpha Bootis
« Reply #26 on: January 23, 2018, 02:58:41 PM »
After two weeks of cloudy nights on the East Coast, I actually did memorize all of the stars visible form 9 pm - 3 am that are Magnitude 2 and brighter. At least in Stellarium with the labels off, I could find all of them. Tonight is supposed to be clear, so we'll see how this translates to the real sky.

It seems that the route I will take is to learn the where the constellations are located in relation to each other and their star patterns, starting with the May/June/July night sky.  In terms of learning Greek lower case, Is it safe to assume that learning the first 8 - 10 letters should suffice?

Mark Richmond

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Re: Arcturus or Alpha Bootis
« Reply #27 on: January 23, 2018, 06:41:04 PM »
Quote
Quote

For someone learning the sky, is it better to learn star names (e.g Arcturus) or the naming convention that is Greek letter for relative brightness and Constellation (e.g. Alpha Bootis)
On one hand, it would seem easier to remember 100 star names. On the other hand with the Greek letter / constellation system you learn the constellations, their locations and their stars.


<p class="citation">Starman1, on 01 May 2017 - 9:33 PM, said:<a href="https://www.cloudynights.com/index.php?app=forums&amp;module=forums&amp;section=findpost&amp;pid=7856597" rel="citation">[/url]<blockquote class="ipsBlockquote built" data-author="Starman1" data-cid="7856597" data-time="1493667216"><p class="citation">dazzled, on 01 May 2017 - 9:26 PM, said:<a href="https://www.cloudynights.com/index.php?app=forums&amp;module=forums&amp;section=findpost&amp;pid=7856583" rel="citation">[/url]<blockquote class="ipsBlockquote built" data-author="dazzled" data-cid="7856583" data-time="1493666817">

Perhaps it pays to learn the 20 or 30 most common star names and then Bayer?

Agreed.
You should know at least the proper names of each of the 1st magnitude stars, but remembering names for the 2nd magnitude stars is a waste of time.
.....

[/quote]
Albireo is magnitude ~mag 3 or dimmer.[/quote]
Touche'

The names of interesting fainter stars will come naturally as part of the observing process.

BTW...without looking it up who knows the common name of Alpha Centauri, the only alpha star I know of that is better known by its Greek moniker.[/quote]
Rigil Kentaurus, if I remember correctly.[/quote]
Correct!

Alpha Centauri is a much cooler name though!

Travis Kuhlman

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Re: Arcturus or Alpha Bootis
« Reply #28 on: January 25, 2018, 09:04:16 PM »
IMHO,Rasalhague is the coolest name.

hanatuaser

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Re: Arcturus or Alpha Bootis
« Reply #29 on: January 25, 2018, 10:34:36 PM »
... and it doesn't rhyme or roll of the tongue well!