Redefining Constellations & Asterisms

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Leo Eri

Where Are the Lost Stars?

Some of the brightest stars are not in the 29 primary asterisms.  Of the remaining 51 asterisms:

  • 9 had 7 stars,
  • 8 had 6 stars,
  • 13 had 5 stars,
  • 15 had 4 stars,
  • 3 had 3 stars,
  • 1 had 2 stars, and
  • 2 had a single star.

The brightest stars of the 51 secondary asterisms were:

  • Polaris, the (north) pole star, in Asterism 01, as a single star.  It is fitting that Polaris, the one stationary star of the celestial sphere, forms its own asterism.
  • Dubhe, Merak, Phecda, and Megrez, the four bowl stars of the Big Dipper/Ursa Major, Asterism 10 (5 stars).
  • Mizar, Alioth, and Alkaid, the three handle stars of the Big Dipper/Ursa Major, Asterism 11, (7 stars).
  • Mirach and Alamak (Andromeda), Asterism 19 (5 stars).
  • Hamal (Aries), Asterism 26 (7 stars).
  • Matar, Scheat and Markab (Pegasus), the latter two from the Great Square asterism, Asterism 27 (6 stars).
  • Alhena (Gemini), Asterism 28 (7 stars).
  • Alpheratz and Algenib (the Great Square of Pegasus), Asterism 29 (4 stars).
  • Arcturus (Bootes), Asterism 32 (4 stars).
  • Denebola (Leo), Asterism 34 (6 stars).
  • Betelgeuse and Bellatrix (the shoulders of Orion), Asterism 35 (5 stars).
  • Procyon and Gomeisa (Canis Minor), Asterism 38 (7 stars).
  • Alphard (Hydra), Asterism 43 (3 stars).
  • Spica (Virgo), Asterism 49 (3 stars).
  • Deneb Kaitos (Cetus), Asterism 50 (6 stars).
  • Sirius and Mirzam (Canis Major), Asterism 51 (5 stars).
  • Fomalhaut (Piscis Austrinis), Asterism 55 (5 stars).
  • Al Nair (Grus), Asterism 67 (4 stars).
  • Canopus (Carina), Asterism 71 (7 stars).
The New Asterisms
Fish - #9 Bird - #13 Radio/Television Tower - #15
House; Domicile - #16 Octopus - #22 Grain; Bread - #24
Flower; Pollination - #25 Monkey; Primate - #30 Combat; Conquest - #31
Smith; Metal Working - #33 Book; Writing - #36 Ant; Insect - #37
Gun - #40 City; Civilization - #48 Love; Affection - #59
Itinerant; Migration - #60 Sailing; Navigation - #61 Coin; Money - #62
Airplane; Aeronautics - #64 Farmer; Agriculture - #65 Computer - #66
Friends; Friendship - #69 Horse and Rider - #70 Observatory; Astronomy - #72
Automobile - #74 Family - #75 Factory; Industrialization - #77
Tree - #78 Human Being - #79