SkyEye

(Un)Common Star Names

What's in a Name?

Stars have many names. Throughout the ages, people have devised numbering or lettering systems to identify stars within a constellation. A given star may have a different designation in every catalogue in which it appears. However, in addition to all of these identifiers, some of the brighter stars have proper names as well; names like Arcturus or Polaris or Rigel or Sirius or Vega. Most of these names have been handed down from antiquity via Arab astronomers but a few have been coined as recently as the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Please note that only the International Astronomical Union has the authority to name celestial objects and they do not sell names to the public.

Beware any company that claims to name stars for you. Such names have no official sanction and are not recognised by any scientific body.

Ancient and Modern Names

Below is a list of common (and not so common) names for certain stars. Historically, the spellings have varied slightly from source to source and not everyone has agreed on the original meanings, but beginning in 2016, the IAU has approved the following names:

NameDesignationMeaningSources
Acamar θ Eri A the end of the river [Arabic] A B D I K R
Achernar α Eri A the end of the river [Arabic] A B D I K R
Achird η Cas A [unknown] B I
Acrab β Sco Aa the scorpion [Arabic] A B I K P
Acrux α Cru Aa a (for alpha) + crux A D I K R
Acubens α Cnc Aa the claw [Arabic] A B D I K R
Adhafera ζ Leo Aa the lock of hair [Arabic] A D I K R
Adhara ε CMa A the virgins [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Adhil ξ And the train of the garment [Arabic] A I K R
Ain ε Tau Aa1 the eye of the bull [Arabic] A B I K P
Ainalrami ν Sgr A the eye of the archer [Arabic] A I R
Aladfar η Lyr Aa the talons of the falling eagle [Arabic] A I R
Albaldah π Sgr A [unknown] A I R
Albali ε Aqr the good fortune of the swallower [Arabic] A B D I K R
Albireo β Cyg Aa [unknown] A B D I K P R
Alchiba α Crv the tent [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Alcor 80 UMa Ca the black horse, the friendless or solitary one [Arabic] A B D I K R
Alcyone η Tau A one of the Pleiades [Greek] A B D I K P R
Aldebaran α Tau the follower [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Alderamin α Cep the right forearm, the preceding one of the two cubits/forearms [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Aldhanab γ Gru the tail [Arabic] A I
Aldhibah ζ Dra A the two wolves (with Athebyne) [Arabic] A B I R
Aldulfin ε Del the (tail of the) dolphin [Arabic] A I
Alfirk β Cep Aa the flock [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Algedi α2 Cap the kid [Arabic] A D I K P
Algenib γ Peg the side [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Algieba γ1 Leo the forehead [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Algol β Per Aa1 the head of the demon [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Algorab δ Crv A the wing of the raven [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Alhena γ Gem Aa the mark on the neck of a camel [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Alioth ε UMa A the black horse [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Aljanah ε Cyg Aa the wing [Arabic] A I K R
Alkaid η UMa the leader of the daughters of the bier [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Alkalurops μ Boo Aa the club, the shepherd's staff [Greek] A B D I K P R
Alkaphrah κ UMa A the third leap of the gazelles (with Talitha) [Arabic] A D I K
Alkarab υ Peg the bucket rope [Arabic] A I R
Alkes α Crt the wine cup [Arabic] A B D I K R
Almaaz ε Aur the he goat [Arabic] A I
Almach γ And A the caracal [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Alnair α Gru the bright one [Arabic] A B I K R
Alnasl γ Sgr the point of the arrow [Arabic] A D I K R
Alnilam ε Ori the string of pearls [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Alnitak ζ Ori Aa the belt or girdle of Orion [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Alniyat σ Sco Aa1 the arteries [Arabic] A I K R
Alphard α Hya the solitary one [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Alphecca α CrB the broken or fractured one [Arabic] A B D I K R
Alpheratz α And Aa the horse, the horse's navel, the horse's shoulder [Arabic] A B D I K R
Alpherg η Psc A the flow of water [Arabic] I
Alrakis μ Dra A the trotting camel [Arabic] A D I K R
Alrescha α Psc A the cord [Arabic] A B D I K R
Alruba HD 161693 the foal of the camel [Arabic] A I R
Alsafi σ Dra the tripods from the open air kitchens [Arabic] A I R
Alsciaukat 31 Lyn the thorn [Arabic] A I
Alsephina δ Vel Aa the ship [Arabic] A I
Alshain β Aql A the ravishing falcon, the scale-beam [Persian] A B D I K P R
Alshat ν Cap A the sheep [Arabic] A I R
Altair α Aql the flying eagle or vulture [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Altais δ Dra the serpent [Arabic] A D I K R
Alterf λ Leo the glance [Arabic] A D I K R
Aludra η CMa the virginity [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Alula Australis ξ UMa Aa the first southern leap of the gazelles [Arabic/Latin] A B D I K P R
Alula Borealis ν UMa the first northern leap of the gazelles [Arabic/Latin] A B D I K P R
Alya θ1 Ser A the fat tail of a sheep, the neck of the serpent [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Alzirr ξ Gem the button [Arabic] A I R
Ancha θ Aqr the hip [Latin] A B D I K P R
Angetenar τ2 Eri the bend in the river [Arabic] A I R
Ankaa α Phe the fabulous bird [Arabic] I K R
Anser α Vul the goose [Latin] A I R
Antares α Sco A similar to Ares [Greek] A B D I K P R
Arcturus α Boo the bear watcher or guardian [Greek] A B D I K P R
Arkab Posterior β2 Sgr the archer's Achilles tendon [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Arkab Prior β1 Sgr the archer's Achilles tendon [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Arneb α Lep A the hare [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Ascella ζ Sgr A the armpit [Latin] A B D I K R
Asellus Australis δ Cnc Aa the southern ass [Roman/Latin] A B D I K P R
Asellus Borealis γ Cnc Aa the northern ass [Roman/Latin] A B D I K P R
Ashlesha ε Hya A a lunar mansion in Hindu astronomy [Hindu] I
Aspidiske ι Car the little shield [Greek] A D I K R
Asterope 21 Tau A one of the Pleiades [Greek] A B I K P
Athebyne η Dra A the two wolves (with Aldhibah) [Arabic] A I
Atik ο Per A the collarbone of the Pleiades (with ζ Per) [Arabic] A B D I K
Atlas 27 Tau Aa1 name of the father of the Pleiades [Greek] A B D I K P R
Atria α TrA a (for alpha) + tri(angle) a(ustrale) I K R
Avior ε Car A [unknown] I R S
Azelfafage π1 Cyg the tortoise [Arabic] A B I K P R
Azha η Eri the nest of the ostrich [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Azmidi ξ Pup the little shield [Greek] A I P
Barnard's Star V2500 Oph the American astronomer E.E. Barnard [English] I
Baten Kaitos ζ Cet the belly of the sea monster [Arabic] A B D I K R
Beemim υ3 Eri the bend in the river [Arabic] A I K R
Beid ο1 Eri the eggs [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Bellatrix γ Ori the female warrior [Latin] A B D I K P R
Betelgeuse α Ori Aa the armpit or hand of Orion [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Bharani 41 Ari Aa the bearer [Hindu] I
Biham θ Peg the lucky star of the young beasts [Arabic] A D I K R
Botein δ Ari the belly [Arabic] A B I K P R
Brachium σ Lib A the arm [Latin] A I
Bunda ξ Aqr A a lunar mansion in Persian astronomy [Persian] A I
Canopus α Car A [?] [Greek] A B D I K R
Capella α Aur Aa the she goat [Roman] A B D I K P R
Caph β Cas A the stained hand [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Castor α Gem Aa the name of a character in Greek mythology A B D I K P R
Castula υ2 Cas the front of the garment [Greek] A I
Cebalrai β Oph the shepherd's dog [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Celaeno 16 Tau one of the Pleiades [Greek] A B D I K P R
Cervantes μ Ara the writer Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra [Spanish] I
Chalawan 47 UMa the mythological crocodile king [Thai] I
Chamukuy θ2 Tau Aa a type of small bird [Mayan] I
Chara β CVn Aa joy [Greek] A I K R
Chertan θ Leo the two small ribs [Arabic] D I K R
Copernicus 55 Cnc A the Polish astronomer Nicolas Copernicus (Mikolaj Kopernik) [Latin] I
Cor Caroli α2 CVn Aa the heart of Charles [Latin] A B D I K P R
Cujam ω Her A the club [Latin] A B I K P R
Cursa β Eri the foremost chair or footstool of Jauzah [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Dabih β1 Cap Aa the lucky star of the slaughterer [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Dalim α For A the ostrich [Arabic] I P
Deneb α Cyg the tail of the hen [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Deneb Algedi δ Cap Aa the tail of the kid [Arabic] A B D I K R
Denebola β Leo the tail of the lion [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Diadem α Com A the jewelled crown [Greek] B I R
Diphda β Cet the second frog [Arabic] A B D I K P
Dschubba δ Sco A the forehead of the scorpion [Arabic] A B I K R
Dubhe α UMa A the bear [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Dziban ψ1 Dra A the hyaenas [Arabic] A B I R
Edasich ι Dra the male hyaena [Arabic] A D I K R
Electra 17 Tau one of the Pleiades [Greek] A B D I K P R
Elgafar φ Vir A the covering [Arabic] A I R
Elkurud θ Col the ape [Arabic] A I
Elnath β Tau Aa the butting with the horns [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Eltanin γ Dra the serpent, the head of the serpent [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Enif ε Peg the nose [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Errai γ Cep Aa the shepherd [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Fafnir 42 Dra A the mythological dwarf who turned into a dragon [Norse] I
Fang π Sco Aa the room [Chinese] A I
Fawaris δ Cyg A the rider [Arabic] A I R
Felis HD 85951 part of the obsolete constellation Felis [Latin] I R
Fomalhaut α PsA A the mouth of the fish [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Fulu ζ Cas the bypath [Chinese] A I
Fumalsamakah β Psc the mouth of the fish [Arabic] A I R
Furud ζ CMa Aa the solitary ones [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Fuyue G Sco a former slave that became a high-ranking minister to Wu Ding [Chinese] I
Gacrux γ Cru ga (for gamma) + crux I K R
Giausar λ Dra a technical term for the nodes in the Moon's orbit [Persian] A D I K P R
Gienah γ Crv A the wing of the raven [Arabic] A D I K P R
Ginan ε Cru a red dilly-bag filled with special songs of knowledge [Aboriginal Australian — Wardaman] I
Gomeisa β CMi A the little bleary-eyed one [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Grumium ξ Dra A the serpent's lower jaw [Greek], the snout or muzzle [Latin] A B D I K R
Gudja κ Ser a water goanna (monitor lizzard) [Aboriginal Australian — Wardaman] I
Guniibuu 36 Oph A a mythological robin red-breast [Aboriginal Australian — Euahlayi, Kamilaroi] I
Hadar β Cen Aa [?] [Arabic] A I K R
Haedus η Aur the kid [Latin] A I P R
Hamal α Ari the lamb or sheep [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Hassaleh ι Aur [unknown] B I
Hatsya ι Ori Aa [unknown] B I R
Helvetios 51 Peg the Celtic tribe that lived in Switzerland during the Middle Ages [Latin] I
Heze ζ Vir A [unknown] B I R
Homam ζ Peg A the lucky star of the hero [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Iklil ρ Sco Aa a lunar mansion in Arabic astronomy [Arabic] A I R
Imai δ Cru the type of grass that grows along the banks of the Omo River [Ethopian — Mursi] I
Intercrus HD 81688 between the legs [Latin] I
Izar ε Boo A the girdle or loin cloth [Arabic] A B D I K R
Jabbah ν Sco Aa a lunar mansion in Arabic astronomy [Arabic] A I R
Jishui ο Gem the supply of water for winemaking and brewing [Chinese] I
Kaffaljidhma γ Cet A the head of the whale [Arabic] A B I R
Kang κ Vir the (first star in) the neck [Chinese] A I
Kaus Australis ε Sgr A the southern part of the bow [Arabic/Latin] A B D I K P R
Kaus Borealis λ Sgr the northern part of the bow [Arabic/Latin] A B D I K P R
Kaus Media δ Sgr the middle part of the bow [Arabic/Latin] A B D I K P R
Keid ο2 Eri A the egg shells [Arabic] A D I K P R
Khambalia λ Vir A the crooked-clawed [Coptic] I R
Kitalpha α Equ A the section of the horse [Arabic] A D I K P R
Kochab β UMi the star [Arabic/Hebrew] A B D I K P R
Kornephoros β Her Aa the club-bearer [Greek] A B D I K P R
Kraz β Crv [unknown] B I R
Kurhah ξ Cep Aa the white spot on the forehead of a horse [Arabic] A D I K R
Larawag ε Sco the signal watcher [Aboriginal Australian — Wardaman] I
La Superba Y CVn a distinctly red variable carbon star observed by Italian astronomer A. Secchi [Italian] A I R
Lesath υ Sco the spot, the sting of the scorpion [Arabic] A B D I K R
Libertas ξ Aql A liberty [Latin] I
Lich PSR B1257+12 the undead creature which controls other undead creatures through magic [Middle English] I
Lilii Borea 39 Ari the northern lily [Latin] I
Maasym λ Her the wrist [Arabic] A B I K P R
Mahasim θ Aur A the wrist [Arabic] A I R
Maia 20 Tau one of the Pleiades [Greek] A B D I K P R
Marfik λ Oph A the elbow [Arabic] A D I K R
Markab α Peg the horse's shoulder or saddle [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Markeb κ Vel the ship [Arabic] A B I K R
Marsic κ Her A the elbow [Arabic] A B I K R
Matar η Peg Aa the fortunate rain [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Mebsuta ε Gem the outstreched paw of the lion [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Megrez δ UMa the root of the tail of the greater bear [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Meissa λ Ori A the sparkling one [Arabic] A D I K R
Mekbuda ζ Gem Aa the folded paw of the lion [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Meleph ε Cnc Aa the stall [Arabic] A I R
Menkalinan β Aur Aa the shoulder of the rein-holder [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Menkar α Cet the nostrils [Arabic] A B D I K R
Menkent θ Cen the shoulder of the centaur [Arabic/Latin] I K R
Menkib ξ Per the shoulder of the Pleiades [Arabic] A B D I K R
Merak β UMa the flank of the greater bear [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Merga 38 Boo the hoe or reaping rake [Latin] A B I K R
Meridiana α CrA mid-day [Latin] A I
Merope 23 Tau Aa one of the Pleiades [Greek] A B D I K P R
Mesarthim γ2 Ari A [?] [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Miaplacidus β Car the still waters [Arabic/Latin] A B D I K R
Mimosa β Cru an actor [Latin] I K R
Minchir σ Hya the nose of the snake [Arabic] A I
Minelauva δ Vir the corner of the barking dog [Arabic] A B I R
Mintaka δ Ori Aa the belt or girdle of Orion [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Mira ο Cet Aa the amazing or wonderful one [Latin] A B D I K P R
Mirach β And the girdle or loin cloth [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Miram η Per A [unknown] B I R
Mirfak α Per the elbow of the Pleiades [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Mirzam β CMa the announcer or proclaimer [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Misam κ Per Aa the wrist next to the Pleiades [Arabic] A B I R
Mizar ζ UMa Aa the groin [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Mothallah α Tri the triangle [Arabic] A B I K P
Muliphein γ CMa the oath [Arabic] A B I K P R
Muphrid η Boo Aa the solitary star of the lancer [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Muscida ο UMa A the muzzle [Latin] A B D I K R
Musica 18 Del music [Latin] I
Nahn ξ Cnc A the nose [Persian] A I R
Naos ζ Pup the ship [Greek] A B I K R
Nashira γ Cap A the fortunate one, the lucky star of the verdant fields at the end of summer [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Nekkar β Boo the ox-driver [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Nembus 51 And [unknown] A I R
Nihal β Lep A the camels beginning to quench their thirst [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Nunki σ Sgr Aa the celestial counterpart of the holy city of Eridu [Babylonion] A B D I K R
Nusakan β CrB A the two lines of stars [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Ogma HD 149026 the diety of eloquence, writing and physical strength [Celtic] I
Okab ζ Aql A the eagle [Arabic] A I
Paikauhale τ Sco A a vagabond [Hawai'ian] I
Peacock α Pav Aa the brightest star in the constellation of the peacock [English] I R S
Phact α Col the ring dove [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Phecda γ UMa Aa the thigh of the greater bear [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Pherkad γ UMi the two calves [Arabic] A B D I K R
Piautos λ Cnc the eye [Coptic] A I R
Pipirima μ2 Sco A Polynesian twins who ran away and became stars [Tahitian] A I
Pleione 28 Tau Aa the name of the mother of the Pleiades [Greek] A B D I K P R
Polaris α UMi Aa of the pole [Latin] A B D I K P R
Polaris Australis σ Oct of the southern pole [Latin] I
Polis μ Sgr Aa the foal [Coptic] A I
Pollux β Gem the name of a character in Greek mythology A B D I K P R
Porrima γ Vir A name of a Roman goddess A B D I K R
Praecipua 46 LMi the chief [Latin] A I P R
Prima Hyadum γ Tau A the first of the Hyades [Latin] A I P R
Procyon α CMi A the one preceeding the dog [Greek] A B D I K P R
Propus η Gem A the forward foot [Greek] A D I K P R
Proxima Centauri α Cen C near [Latin] I
Ran ε Eri the goddess of the sea [Norse] I
Rasalas μ Leo the northern part of the lion's head [Arabic] A D I K P R
Rasalgethi α1 Her Aa the head of the kneeler [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Rasalhague α Oph A the head of the serpent collector [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Rastaban β Dra A the head of the serpent [Arabic] A B D I K R
Regulus α Leo A the little king [Roman] A B D I K P R
Revati ζ Psc A prosperous [Sanskrit] A I
Rigel β Ori A the foot of Orion [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Rigil Kentaurus α Cen A the foot of the centaur [Arabic] A D I K R
Rotanev β Del A 'Venator' spelled backwards (for Italian astronomer Nicolaus Venator) [Italian] A B I K P R
Ruchbah δ Cas Aa the knee of the lady of the chair [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Rukbat α Sgr the knee of the archer [Arabic] A B D I K R
Sabik η Oph A the preceding one, the winner [Arabic] A B D I K R
Saclateni ζ Aur A the second arm [Arabic] A I
Sadachbia γ Aqr Aa the lucky star of the tents [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Sadalbari μ Peg the lucky star of the excelling one [Arabic] A D I K R
Sadalmelik α Aqr A the lucky star of the king [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Sadalsuud β Aqr A the luckiest of the lucky stars [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Sadr γ Cyg A the breast of the hen [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Saiph κ Ori the sword of the giant [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Salm τ Peg the leather bucket [Arabic] A I R
Sargas θ Sco A a weapon of the god Marduk [Sumerian] A D I K R
Sarin δ Her Aa [unknown] B I R
Sceptrum 53 Eri A part of the obsolete constellation Sceptrum Brandenburgicum [Latin] A B I P R
Scheat β Peg the shin [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Schedar α Cas the breast [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Secunda Hyadum δ Tau Aa the second of the Hyades [Latin] A I P R
Segin ε Cas [unknown] B I R
Seginus γ Boo Aa the corrupted form of the constellation name [Latin] A B D I K R
Sham α Sge the arrow [Arabic] A B I K P R
Shaula λ Sco Aa the sting of the scorpion [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Sheliak β Lyr Aa1 the harp [Arabic], the tortoise [Persian] A B D I K P R
Sheratan β Ari A the two signs [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Sirius α CMa A the brilliant or scorching one [Greek] A B D I K P R
Situla κ Aqr A the bucket, pot [Latin] A B I K P R
Skat δ Aqr A the shin [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Spica α Vir Aa the ear of grain [Greek/Roman] A B D I K P R
Sualocin α Del Aa 'Nicolaus' spelled backwards (for Italian astronomer Nicolaus Venator) [Italian] A B I K P R
Subra ο Leo Aa the mane or shoulder [Arabic] B I K R
Suhail λ Vel [?] [Arabic] A B I K R
Sulafat γ Lyr the tortoise [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Syrma ι Vir the train of a dress [Greek] A D I K R
Tabit π3 Ori the endurer [Arabic] A B I P R
Taiyangshou χ UMa the sun governor [Chinese] A I
Taiyi 8 Dra great oneness [Chinese] A I
Talitha ι UMa Aa the third leap of the gazelles (with Alkaphrah) [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Tania Australis μ UMa A the second southern leap of the gazelles [Arabic/Latin] A B D I K P R
Tania Borealis λ UMa A the second northern leap of the gazelles [Arabic/Latin] A B D I K P R
Tarazed γ Aql the ravishing falcon, the scale-beam [Persian] A B D I K P R
Tarf β Cnc A the end [Arabic] A I R
Taygeta 19 Tau Aa one of the Pleiades [Greek] A B D I K P R
Tegmine ζ1 Cnc A the covering or shell [Latin] A I K R
Tejat μ Gem Aa the foot [Arabic] A I K P
Terebellum ω Sgr A the auger [Latin] A I R
Theemin υ2 Eri the bend in the river [Arabic] A B I K P R
Thuban α Dra A the serpent, the head of the serpent [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Tiaki β Gru [?] [Maori] I
Tianguan ζ Tau A the celestial gate [Chinese] I
Tianyi 7 Dra [?] [Chinese] I K
Titawin υ And A a settlement in northern Morocco I
Toliman α Cen B the ostriches [Arabic] B I K
Tonatiuh HD 104985 the god of the Sun [Aztec] I
Torcular ο Psc A the wine press [Latin] A I R
Tureis ρ Pup A the little shield [Arabic] A I K P
Ukdah ι Hya the knot [Arabic] A I R
Unukalhai α Ser the neck of the serpent [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Urnurgunite σ CMa an ancestral figure who fought the Moon [Aboriginal Australian — Boroong] I
Vega α Lyr the swooping eagle [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Veritate 14 And A truth [Latin] I
Vindemiatrix ε Vir the grape gatherer [Greek/Roman] A B D I K P R
Wasat δ Gem Aa the middle [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Wazn β Col the weight [Arabic] A D I K P R
Wezen δ CMa Aa the weight [Arabic] A B I K R
Wurren ζ Phe Aa the child of Dungdung, the life-creating Frog Lady [Aboriginal Australian — Wardaman] I
Xamidimura μ1 Sco Aa the eyes of the lion [Khoikhoi] I
Xuange λ Boo the somber lance [Chinese] A I
Yed Posterior ε Oph the hindmost star in the hand [Arabic/Latin] A B D I K P R
Yed Prior δ Oph the foremost star in the hand [Arabic/Latin] A B D I K P R
Yildun δ UMi the star [Turkish] A B I K P R
Zaniah η Vir Aa the angle [Arabic] A D I K R
Zaurak γ Eri the bright star of the boat [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Zavijava β Vir the angle [Arabic] A B D I K P R
Zhang υ1 Hya A the drawn bow [Chinese] A I
Zibal ζ Eri Aa the young of the ostriches [Arabic] A B I K P R
Zosma δ Leo the girdle or loin cloth [Greek] A B D I K P R
Zubenelgenubi α2 Lib Aa the southern claw of the scorpion [Arabic] A B D I K R
Zubenelhakrabi γ Lib A the claws of the scorpion [Arabic] A B I
Zubeneschamali β Lib the northern claw of the scorpion [Arabic] A B D I K R

Alternative Names

Many of the stars which now have IAU-approved names originally had alternative names which were used in times past.

NameDesignationApproved NameMeaningSources
Adib α Dra Thuban the hyaenas [Arabic] A K
Adfar Aldib ω Dra, f Dra the claws of the wolves [Arabic] A R
Agena β Cen Hadar a (for alpha) + genu (knee) [Greek/Latin] A K
Aggia η Oph, θ Oph, ξ Oph Sabik (η) the magician [Coptic] A R
Akfa Farkadain ζ UMi the dim one of the two calves [Arabic] A R
Al Aghnam κ Cep, π Cep the flock of sheep [Arabic] A R
Alahakan ψ1 Dra, χ Dra Dziban (ψ1) the two black bulls [Arabic] A R
Alanz ε Aur Almaaz the group of goats [Arabic] A R
Alaraph β Vir Zavijava [unknown] B
Albulan ε Aqr, μ Aqr, ν Aqr Albali (ε) the good fortune of the swallower [Arabic] A K R
Al Butain ε Ari, ζ Ari, π Ari, ρ Ari the belly [Arabic] A R
Al Dafirah γ Com the tuft of hair in the lion's tail [Arabic] A R
Aldib ι Dra Edasich the wolf [Arabic] A P
Algenib α Per Mirfak the side [Arabic] A B K
Algenubi ε Leo the southern star in the lion's head [Arabic] A R
Alhajoth α Aur Capella [unknown] A B
Alhaud θ UMa, τ UMa, υ UMa, φ UMa, e UMa, f UMa, h UMa the pond [Arabic] A K R
Alhiba λ Aur, μ Aur, σ Aur the tent [Arabic] A R
Al Jabhah η Leo the forehead [Arabic] A R
Al Kaff Al Jidhmah δ Cet, μ Cet, ξ1 Cet, ξ2 Cet the part of a hand [Arabic] A R
Alkafzah χ UMa the third leap of the gazelles [Arabic] A R
Alkalbain κ1 Tau, κ2 Tau, υ Tau, φ Tau, χ Tau the two dogs [Arabic] A R
Al Kidr θ Cep the pot [Arabic] A R
Alkiladah ψ Sgr the necklace [Arabic] A R
Al Kumm ο1 Ori, ο2 Ori the sleeve [Arabic] A R
Al Marfak μ Cas the elbow [Arabic] A R
Almizan δ Aql, η Aql, θ Aql the scale-beam [Arabic] A R
Almuredin ε Vir Vindemiatrix the one preceding the grape gatherer [Greek/Arabic] A K
Al Na'ir α Gru Alnair the bright one from the fish's tail [Arabic] A K R
Alnam μ Sgr Polis the ostriches [Arabic] R
Al Naymat θ Cet, τ Cet, υ Cet the hen ostriches [Arabic] A R
Alnitham φ1-4 Cet the necklace [Arabic] A R
Al Rami α Sgr Rukbat the archer [Arabic] A B K
Alrial β Phe, γ Phe, κ Phe, μ Phe, ν Phe the young ostriches [Arabic] A R
Alrucaba α UMi Polaris the knee [Arabic] A B K
Alsad ζ Aqr the fortunate [Arabic] A R
Al Salib ε Del the pillar of the cross [Arabic] A R
Al Sharasif β Hya, κ Hya the ribs [Arabic] A R
Al Taj π1 Ori, π2 Ori, π4 Ori, π5 Ori, π6 Ori the crown [Persian] A R
Al Thalimain ι Aql, λ Aql the two ostriches [Arabic] A R
Althiba ο UMa, π UMa, ρ UMa, σ UMa, d UMa, A UMa Muscida (ο) the gazelle [Arabic] A R
Aludhi ρ1 Eri, ρ2 Eri, ρ3 Eri the ostrich nest [Arabic] A R
Al Ukud α Del, β Del, γ Del, δ Del Rotanev (β), Sualocin (α) the pearls [Arabic] A R
Alwaid β Dra, γ Dra, μ Dra, ν Dra, ξ Dra Alrakis (μ), Eltanin (γ), Grumium (ξ), Rastaban (β) the mother camels [Arabic] A R
Al Zara ο2 CMa the virgin [Arabic] A R
Anwa Farkadain η UMi the lights of the two calves [Arabic] R
Arich γ Vir Porrima [unknown] B
Arided α Cyg Deneb the follower [Arabic] A B K
Arrakis μ Dra Alrakis the trotting camel [Arabic] A B P
Arsh Al Jauzah δ Lep the throne of Jauzah [Arabic] A R
Asmidiske ξ Pup Azmidi the little shield [Greek] A B P R
Asterion β CVn Chara little star [Greek] B
Athafi σ Dra, τ Dra, υ Dra Alsafi (σ) the kitchen tripod [Arabic] A R
Athfar μ Lyr the talons [Arabic] A R
Atik ζ Per, ο Per Atik (ο) the collarbone of the Pleiades [Arabic] D K R
Aulad Alnathlat ψ Boo the low little ones [Arabic] A R
Aulad Althiba λ Boo Xuange the whelps of the hyaenas [Arabic] A R
Auva δ Vir Minelauva the corner of the barking dog [Arabic] B
Azimech α Vir Spica the unarmed simāk [Arabic] A B K
Barani 33 Ari, 35 Ari, 39 Ari, 41 Ari Bharani (41), Lilii Borea (39) the bearer [Hindu] A R
Baten Kentaurus ζ Cen the bright one in the belly of the centaur [Arabic] A K R
Benetnasch η UMa Alkaid the daughters of the bier [Arabic] A B K
Blaze Star T CrB a recurrent nova which reached magnitude +2.5 in 1866 [English] A R
Bungula α Cen A Rigil Kentaurus b (for beta) + ungula (hoof) [Greek/Latin] A K
Calx μ Gem the heel [Latin] A R
Canicula α CMa Sirius the little dog [Latin] A B
Caput Trianguli α Tri Mothallah the head of the triangle [Latin] A R
Ceginus φ Boo the corrupted form of the constellation name [Latin] A R
Chara α CVn Cor Caroli joy [Greek] B
Cheleb β Oph Cebalrai the shepherd's dog [Arabic] A
Chort θ Leo Chertan the two small ribs [Arabic] A
Circitores ε UMi the circlers [Latin] A R
Cor Hydrae α Hya Alphard the heart of the water snake [Latin] A B
Cor Serpentis α Ser Unukalhai the heart of the snake [Latin] A B
Coxa θ Leo Chertan in the hip [Latin] B K P
Cynosura α UMi Polaris the dog's tail [Greek] A B
Dabih Major β1 Cap Dabih the lucky star of the slaughterer [Arabic] A P R
Dabih Minor β2 Cap the lucky star of the slaughterer [Arabic] A P R
Dalim θ1 Eri Acamar the ostrich [Arabic] A K
Deneb Algenubi η Cet the southern tail [Arabic] A R
Deneb Alnahr β Gru Tiaki the bright one of the tail [Arabic] R
Deneb Hut γ Cet the tail of the fish [Arabic] A R
Deneb Kaitos β Cet Diphda the southern tail of the sea monster [Arabic] A B D K R
Deneb Okab ε Aql, ζ Aql the tail of the eagle [Arabic] A B R
Dhibain η Dra Athebyne the wolves [Arabic] A R
Dnoces ι UMa Talitha 'second' spelled backwards (for Apollo 1 astronaut Edward Higgins White the second) [English] K
Dolones ψ1-9 Aur, 16 Lyn the goads [Latin] A R
Duhr δ Leo Zosma the back of the lion [Arabic] A K
Elacrab γ Sco the claws of the scorpion [Arabic] A B
Elgomaisa α CMi Procyon [unknown] A B
Erakis γ Cep Errai [unknown] B
Fum Al Faras ν Peg the mouth of the horse [Arabic] A R
Fum Al Hut β PsA the mouth of the fish [Arabic] A R
Fawaris δ Cyg, ζ Cyg, κ Cyg the riders [Arabic] A R
Flying Star Groombridge 1830 a high-velocity star whose exceptional proper motion was discovered by F.W. Argelander in 1842 [English] A R
Garafsa θ Oph the serpent tamer [Persian] A R
Garnet Star μ Cep a star with a deep red colour [English] A K P
Gemma α CrB Alphecca the gem or jewel [Latin] A B K P
Gianfar δ Dra a technical term for the nodes in the Moon's orbit [Persian] B
Gienah ε Cyg Aljanah the wing [Arabic] A B K
Girtab θ Sco Sargas the scorpion [Sumerian] A D K
Girtab ι Sco the scorpion [Sumerian] A R
Gnosia α CrB Alphecca the star of the crown of Knossos [Latin] A B
Gorgona β Per Algol the head of the Gorgon [Greek] A B
Gorgona Prima β Per Algol the head of the Gorgon [Greek] A R
Gorgona Quarta ο Per the head of the Gorgon [Greek] A R
Gorgona Secunda π Per the head of the Gorgon [Greek] A R
Gorgona Tertia ρ Per the head of the Gorgon [Greek] A R
Graffias β Sco Acrab the crab [Greek], the claws [Latin] A B D K R
Grassias ξ Sco the crab [Greek], the claws [Latin] A R
Gredi α Cap Algedi the goat [Arabic] A B
Haedus Primus η Aur Haedus the kid [Latin] A B P
Haedus Secundus ζ Aur Saclateni the kid [Latin] A B P
Haris γ Boo Seginus [unknown] B
Heka λ Ori Meissa a circle of hair [Arabic] A B K P
Heka φ1 Ori a circle of hair [Arabic] A K R
Hika φ2 Ori a circle of hair [Arabic] A K R
Hind's Crimson Star R Lep a distinctly red variable carbon star observed by British astronomer J.R. Hind [English] A R
Iclarkrau δ Sco Dschubba the crown of the scorpion [Arabic] A P
Isis μ CMa name of an Egyptian goddess [Egyptian] A R
Jabhat Acrabi ω1 Sco, ω2 Sco the forehead of the scorpion [Arabic] A R
Kalbalfird η Cep the stars of the flock [Arabic] R
Kabalinan ι Aur the heel of the reinholder [Arabic] A R
Kaffa δ UMa Megrez [unknown] B
Kaitain α Psc Alrescha the thread [Arabic] A B
Kalb α Leo Regulus the heart of the lion [Arabic] A B
Kalbalrai ρ Cep the shepherd's dog [Arabic] A R
Kapteyn's Star VZ Pic a high-velocity star whose exceptional proper motion was discovered by J. Kapteyn in 1898 [English] A R
Kerb τ Peg Salm the bucket rope [Arabic] A B
Kiffa Australis α2 Lib Zubenelgenubi the southern tray of the scale [Arabic/Latin] A B P
Kiffa Borealis γ Lib Zubeneschamali the northern tray of the scale [Arabic/Latin] A B P
Kissin UU Com a species of ivy or convolvulus [Latin] A R
Koleon μ Ari the belly [Coptic] A
Ksora δ Cas Ruchbah [unknown] B
Kuma ν Dra [unknown] B
Kursi Al Jabbar γ Lep the chair of the giant [Arabic] [English] A R
Kursi Al Jauzah β Eri, λ Eri, ψ Eri, τ Her Cursa (β) the foremost chair or footstool of Jauzah [Arabic] A K R
Kurud θ Col, κ Col Elkurud (θ) the apes [Arabic] A R
Kuton δ Psc, ζ Psc Revati (ζ) the cord [Coptic] A R
Manica g Ori the protecting gauntlet [Latin] A R
Marfak θ Cas the elbow [Arabic] A R
Menkab α Cet Menkar the nostrils [Arabic] A B P
Menkar λ Cet the nostrils [Arabic] A
Merez β Boo Nekkar [unknown] B
Merkeb k Pup something to ride upon [Arabic] A
Metallah α Tri Mothallah [unknown] B
Minazal δ Hya, ε Hya, ζ Hya, η Hya, ρ Hya Ashlesha (ε) belonging to the uninhabited spot [Arabic] A R
Minkalshuja σ Hya Minchir the nose of the snake [Arabic] R
Minkar α Crv, ε Crv Alchiba (α) the beak of the raven [Arabic] A B R
Minkarasad κ Leo the nose of the lion [Arabic] A R
Mirak ε Boo Izar the belt of the shouter [Arabic] A B
Mirza γ CMa Muliphein the announcer or proclaimer [Arabic] A R
Misam Al Thurayya χ Per, h Per the wrist next to the Pleiades [Arabic] A R
Mizan β Tri the scale-beam [Arabic] A R
Mizan Batil θ2 Ori, c Ori the false scale-beam [Arabic] A R
Muhlifain γ Cen the oath [Arabic] K R
Mula κ Sco the root [Hindu] R
Nair Al Butain c1 Ari the bright one of the belly [Arabic] R
Na'ir al Zaurak α Phe Ankaa the bright one in the boat [Arabic] A K
Namalsadirah ζ Sgr, σ Sgr, τ Sgr, φ Sgr, χ Sgr Ascella (ζ), Nunki (σ) the returning ostriches [Arabic] A R
Namalwarid γ Sgr, δ Sgr, ε Sgr, η Sgr Alnasl (γ), Kaus Australis (ε), Kaus Media (δ) the going ostriches [Arabic] A R
Nash γ Sgr Alnasl the point of the arrow [Arabic] A B
Nasak Shamiya γ Her, β Ser, γ Ser the northern boundary of the pasture [Arabic] A R
Nasak Yamani δ Ser, ε Ser the southern boundary of the pasture [Arabic] A R
Nashira Prima ι Cap the fortunate one, the lucky star of the verdant fields at the end of summer [Arabic] P
Nashira Posterior γ Cap Nashira the fortunate one, the lucky star of the verdant fields at the end of summer [Arabic] A P
Nasr Alwaki ζ1 Lyr, ζ2 Lyr the stone eagle of the dessert [Arabic] A R
Navi γ Cas 'Ivan' spelled backwards [for Apollo 1 astronaut Virgil Ivan 'Gus' Grissom) [English] K R
Nodus Primus ζ Dra Aldhibah the first convolution [Latin] B P
Nodus Secundus δ Dra Altais the second convolution [Latin] A B P
Nucatai ν Gem the hump of the camel [Arabic] A R
Nur π Sco Fang bright [Persian] A R
Nushaba γ Sgr Alnasl the point of the arrow [Arabic] A B K
Oculus Australis α Tau Aldebaran the southern eye [Latin] A
Oculus Boreus ε Tau Ain the northern eye [Latin] A R
Okda α Psc Alrescha the knot [Arabic] A B P R
Palilicium α Tau Aldebaran the feast of Pales [Latin] A B
Phad γ UMa Phecda the thigh of the greater bear [Arabic] A
Pherkad Major γ UMi Pherkad the two calves [Arabic] A P R
Pherkad Minor 11 UMi the two calves [Arabic] A P R
Pherkard 11 UMi the two calves [Arabic] A B
Praesepe ε Cnc Meleph the manger [Latin] A B P
Prima Giedi α2 Cap Algedi the kid [Arabic] A P R
Primus Asellus θ Boo the first ass [Latin] A R
Pulcherrima ε Boo Izar the most beautiful [Latin] A B K
Rana δ Eri the second frog [Arabic/Latin] B P R
Rana Secunda δ Eri the second frog [Arabic/Latin] B P R
Rasalasad Australis ε Leo the southern part of the lion's head [Arabic] A B P
Rasalasad Borealis μ Leo Rasalas the northern part of the lion's head [Arabic] A B P
Reda γ Aql Tarazed [unknown] B
Regor γ Vel 'Roger' spelled backwards (for Apollo 1 astronaut Roger Bruce Chaffee) [English] K R
Revenante of the Swan P Cyg the returning star of Cygnus (hypergiant luminous blue variable star) [French/English] A R
Rigilawwa μ Vir the foot of the barker [Arabic] A R
Ruchba ω2 Cyg the knee of the hen [Arabic] A R
Rutilicus β Her Kornephoros the armpit [Latin] A B K
Sadalmatar ο Peg the lucky rain [Arabic] A R
Sadalmulk ο Aqr the lucky star of the king [Arabic] A R
Sadalnazi λ Peg the good luck of the camel striving to get to pasture [Arabic] A R
Sadatoni ζ Aur Saclateni [unknown] A D
Sadr Al Kaitos ε Cet, π Cet, ρ Cet, σ Cet the breast of the whale [Arabic] A R
Saif Al Jabbar η Ori the sword of the giant [Arabic] A R
Saik ζ Oph the driver [Arabic] A R
Scheddi δ Cap Deneb Algedi the tail of the goat [Arabic] A B
Schemali ι Cet northern [Arabic] A R
Seat π Aqr [unknown] A R
Secunda Giedi α1 Cap Algedi the kid [Arabic] A P R
Secundus Asellus ι Boo the second ass [Latin] A R
Sertan α Cnc Acubens the crab [Arabic] A B K P
Shaukah 31 Lyn Alsciaukat the thorn [Arabic] A R
Sirrah α And Alpheratz the navel of the horse [Arabic] A B K P
Sterope I 21 Tau Asterope one of the Pleiades [Greek] A D K R
Sterope II 22 Tau Asterope one of the Pleiades [Greek] A D K R
Suhel α Car Canopus [?] [Arabic] A B K
Suudalnujam ξ Peg the lucky star [Arabic] A R
Tais δ Dra, ε Dra, π Dra, ρ Dra Altais (δ) the serpent [Arabic] A R
Tali Al Shaulah μ1 Sco, μ2 Sco that which follows the sting [Arabic] A R
Tejat Posterior μ Gem Tejat the back foot [Arabic] A B K P
Tejat Prior η Gem Propus the forward foot [Arabic] A K P
Tertius Asellus κ1 Boo, κ2 Boo the third ass [Latin] A R
Thabit υ Ori the endurer [Arabic] A R
Thail A And the train of the garment [Arabic] A R
Thiba δ Boo the female wolves [Arabic] A R
Trapezium θ1 Ori the four-sided figure [Latin] A R
Tureis ι Car Aspidiske an aplustre [Arabic] A B
Tyl ε Dra [unknown] B R
Udra ο1 CMa the virgins [Arabic] A R
Ukdah τ1 Hya, τ2 Hya, A Hya the knot [Arabic] A R
Vanant ι2 Sco the stinger [Persian] A R
Variablis Coronae R CrB the variable star in Corona Borealis [Latin] A R
Vespertilio α Sco Antares the bat [Latin] A B
Zubanah ι Cnc the claws [Arabic] A R
Zuban Al Kravi η Lib the claws of the scorpion [Arabic] A R
Zubanalkravi σ Lib Brachium the claws of the scorpion [Arabic] A B P
Zuben Acrabi σ Lib Brachium the claws of the scorpion [Arabic] R
Zuben Elakribi δ Lib the claws of the scorpion [Arabic] B
Zuben Hakrabi ν Lib the claws of the scorpion [Arabic] R
Zubra FN Leo the mane [Arabic] A R

Sources

A Richard Hinkley Allen Star Names: Their Lore and Meaning 1963 Dover Publications, Inc.
B Antonín Bečvář Atlas of the Heavens — Ⅱ Catalogue 1950.0 1964 Sky Publishing Corporation
D George A. Davis, Jr Pronunications, Derivations, and Meanings of a Selected List of Star Names 1971 Sky Publishing Corporation
I IAU Division C Working Group on Star Names 2018 International Astronomical Union
K Paul Kunitzsch
and Tim Smart
A Dictionary of Modern Star Names (Second Revised Edition) 2006 New Track Media LLC (Sky Publishing)
P Giuseppe Piazzi Praecipuarum Stellarum Inerrantium Positiones Mediae Ineunte Saeculo ⅩⅨ 1814 Panormi
R Jack W. Rhoads National Aeronautics and Space Administration Technical Memorandum 33-507: A Reduced Star Catalog Containing 537 Named Stars 1971 Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology
S Donald H. Sadler A Personal History of H.M. Nautical Almanac Office, 30 October 1930-18 February 1972 [unpublished]