Origin of stars’ names

One of the most captivating, if not amazing parts of our planet’s celestial bodies are the stars. As early as our childhood and even when we started formal education, we wondered how it was made, what is it made of and how far is it from where we are standing? These questions have lingered even up to the time when we became adults and are capable of understanding almost everything that we encounter.

Another significant issue could be raised when we consider etymology as part of the discussion on how stars were named. History is so rich that a star could be possibly named from the one who discovers it or maybe on how it appears in the sky. To finally satisfy your concern and curiosity on this particular topic, here are some of the best answers that we came up just for you:

Fictional names and characters

Though these names do not actually exist in real life, scientists and astronomers have taken the liberty of naming some of the stars to the names of heroes or villains in a legend or mythological stories from the past. People usually remember or recall the name, especially if it is famous or well-known to almost everyone. The advantage of naming such a star is the ability of humans to recall it right away and connect with it through their reading skills and experience. One concrete example of this category is Canopus or Alpha Carinae, which was derived directly from Canopus, the mythological navigator who served King Menelaus of Sparta in one of the series of books in The Iliad and The Odyssey.

Greek and Roman gods and goddesses

Ancient and modern people alike are bewildered even up to this point when we speak of fantasy and super powers. Aside from religion and faith put together, the human’s creative imagination has entertained the idea of welcoming these fictional personas in our lives as a form of leisure or a hobby, especially for writers and bookworms. Another example would be Antares or Alpha Scorpii, which originated from Greece, meaning “ Mars’ competitor” or Ares.

The Bible and early folklore

It cannot be denied that The Bible is a standard and people should not argue or debate about its contents since it’s already a standard that is meant to unite people and not to separate or disperse believers.

If there is something much more credible in giving the names of stars and other heavenly bodies, then it would be The Holy Book. Our third example would be the Pleiades or also referred to as “Seven Sisters”.

From ordinary animals and objects

Did you remember the dog named Laika? If your memory is still good, you’ll be able to recall that it’s one of the animals brought to space by astronauts. Space exploration has been a wonder for most of us who have not yet experienced having a glimpse of what’s really beyond the clouds. A couple of examples will include, Sirius the big dog and The Big Dipper.

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