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Thread: Naming visible stars

  1. #1
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    Naming visible stars

    What is the brightest star in heaven that has neither letter nor number?

    How many such stars can be seen by naked eye?

  2. #2
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    The sun?

    I honestly don't know but I'll be following the thread.

  3. #3
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    Not counting the milky way, with the average human eye, in a dark site, can see over 2,000 stars.

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    Quote Originally Posted by matthewota View Post
    Not counting the milky way, with the average human eye, in a dark site, can see over 2,000 stars.
    Wouldn't every visible star have at least a Flamsteed designation (barring a nova event or other sudden brightening that might promote a previously unseen one to visibility)?

    Nick

  5. #5
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    All the stars that can be seen with the naked eye have names, AFAIK.
    As above, so below

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    Jens,

    By "names" do you mean including "names" like "tau Pegasi" and "48 Persei"?

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis

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    Assuming the question refers to specific names (other than the constellation denotation - Greek letters, numbers) most of which are Arabic (with one or two more modern names), the brightest I can find is Beta Gruis at mag 2.07.

    I expect someone will find either a name for this star or something brighter.

  8. #8
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    If you mean "Are there any visible stars without either a name or a number in any catalogue?", I think it's safe to say that there isn't a single visible star (mag 6.5 or brighter) in the entire night sky that doesn't have some official designation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Root View Post

    By "names" do you mean including "names" like "tau Pegasi" and "48 Persei"?
    I meant those. So what is the brightest star other than the Sun that has neither letter nor number?

  10. #10
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    I can't tell you. Neither can anyone else.

    We might be able to give you coordinates, but not a name...

    This looks like the sort of thing where it should be obvious that you need
    to do the research yourself if you really want an answer.

    On the other hand, perhaps you could explain your name to me. If you
    are the same Chorned Snork... A few years ago, in sci.astro, I asked you
    what a "chorned snork" is. I said that I know what a snork is, of course,
    since I see them occasionally in the periphery of my vision, sneaking around
    in the shadows under my desk. And that I've heard of horned snorks and
    even shoehorned snorks, though I suspect they are just fables. But what
    is a "C-horned snork"?

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis

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    Quote Originally Posted by chornedsnorkack View Post
    I meant those. So what is the brightest star other than the Sun that has neither letter nor number?
    Romanus answered this already.

    Also, many of the "stars" we see in the night sky are galaxies and galactic clusters.

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    Are the lettered stars all from Bayer Uranometria?

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    Quote Originally Posted by chornedsnorkack View Post
    Are the lettered stars all from Bayer Uranometria?
    Ones with Greek letters (eg. alpha Centauri) are from Bayer. Ones with Latin letters (eg. P Cygni) are later designations for variable stars that don't have Bayer designations.

    Abbreviations followed by numbers (eg. HD 101065) are catalogue numbers.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Root View Post
    I can't tell you. Neither can anyone else.

    We might be able to give you coordinates, but not a name...

    This looks like the sort of thing where it should be obvious that you need
    to do the research yourself if you really want an answer.

    On the other hand, perhaps you could explain your name to me. If you
    are the same Chorned Snork... A few years ago, in sci.astro, I asked you
    what a "chorned snork" is. I said that I know what a snork is, of course,
    since I see them occasionally in the periphery of my vision, sneaking around
    in the shadows under my desk. And that I've heard of horned snorks and
    even shoehorned snorks, though I suspect they are just fables. But what
    is a "C-horned snork"?

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis
    You might be barking up the wrong fable.

  15. #15
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    Huh. I had assumed all this time that the poster invented the creature.
    I had no idea that the "C" actually did represent a separate word, and
    wasn't just the beginning of a made-up word "chorned". So, most likely,
    the poster here is not the same as "Chorned Snork" on sci.astro.

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Root View Post
    By "names" do you mean including "names" like "tau Pegasi" and "48 Persei"?
    Yes, I meant to include those. My assumption was that any star that is visible to the naked eye would have a catalog name somewhere. Not necessarily a single name, like Sirius or Altair or Vega.
    As above, so below

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndreasJ View Post
    Ones with Greek letters (eg. alpha Centauri) are from Bayer.
    So, Uranometria covers the whole sky, incl. Plancius´ southern constellations, and all stars with letter are by definition visible to naked eye because Uranometria is older than telescope.

    What is the brightest star not in Uranometria?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by loglo View Post
    You might be barking up the wrong fable.
    That's the Harry Potter version. Here's the version written by Finnish author Tove Jansson.

    In 1945.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by chornedsnorkack View Post
    What is the brightest star in heaven that has neither letter nor number?
    It's an unanswerable question. If a star has neither letter not number, how can anyone identify it for you?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ilya
    It's an unanswerable question. If a star has neither letter not number, how can anyone identify it for you?
    Chinese catalogue?

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    A problem is that by the time you get down to the magnitude of stars that
    don't have any widely-used designation, there are hundreds with essentially
    identical brightness. There won't be one brightest star without a common
    designation-- there will be hundreds.

    -- Jeff, in Minneapolis

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndreasJ View Post
    Ones with Greek letters (eg. alpha Centauri) are from Bayer. Ones with Latin letters (eg. P Cygni) are later designations for variable stars that don't have Bayer designations.
    Actually I have to correct myself here - single capital Latin letters A-Q are also Bayer designations, the variable star designations beginning with R (WP has the details).

    Lower case Latin letters (eg. h Persei) are also Bayer designations; the sequence is Greek letters alpha to omega, Latin lowercase letters a-z, Latin uppercase letters A-Q.


    As for the brightest star (except the Sun) that doesn't have a Bayer designation, I don't know. The obvious way to find it would be getting a list of naked-eye stars by brightness that goes down far enough, but I don't know offhand were you get that.

  23. #23
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    When I looked at this question my wrinkles deepened... There are no visible stars with no names or numbers. What do you think astronomers have been doing for the last 300 or so years. Looking at the sky and attempting to see things. Lists catalogue and all sorts of deep sky charts are all works of astronomers, its been the work of many life times by many hundreds if not thousands of astronomers. To find a un found object (star) today you would need some impressive telescope. Finding a comet or asteroid might be more within our grasp.

  24. #24
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    According to the 5th edition of the Bright Star Catalog (Hoffleit et al, 1991), there are 5953 stars which are unamed by either Bayer or Flamsteed designations, however they are listed in other catalogs with corresponding nomenclature.

    For example: HD 143454 is the variable T CrB and HD 82668 is variable N Vel both of which can grow to be fairly bright. HD 161892 is vmag 3.21 star in the southern hemisphere with out Flamsteed nor Bayer names. Also HD 64440 and HD 78004 are both non-variable mag 3.7 stars in the southern hemisphere.

    Many of the "unamed" stars are not visible from Europe. You may query the catalog by following this link. http://cdsarc.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/V...2?-source=V/50

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    Quote Originally Posted by Veeger View Post
    For example: HD 143454 is the variable T CrB and HD 82668 is variable N Vel both of which can grow to be fairly bright.
    But N is a Bayer letter (these go to Q). However, Vela is not a Bayer constellation - the stars not in Bayer constellations seem to keep their original letter, so N of Argo Navis became N Velorum.

  26. #26
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    Alright then. I have no idea what you mean by a Bayer constellation and apparently now you are narrowing your requirements from what was originally posted. The referenced catalog is an internationally recognized catalog of all the bright stars, generally brighter than mag 7 and considered naked-eye under the right sky conditions. I have given you the reference. Do your own research.

  27. #27
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    Found!

    Found a source. And I think found an answer, too.

    In Centaurus, a Cepheid variable HD102350, magnitude 4,11, has neither letter nor number.

  28. #28
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    Seems to me it has two letters and six numbers.

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