mercredi 1 octobre 2008

Canis Major 11

β, 2.3, white.

Murzim, generally but less correctly Mirzam, and occasionally Mirza, is from Al Murzim, Literally the Roarer, and so another of the many words in the Arabic tongue for the lion, of which that people boasted of having four hundred the Announcer, often combined by the Arabs with β Canis Minoris in the plural Al Mirzamāni, or as Al Mirzamā al Shiʽrayain, the two Sirian Announcers; Ideler's idea of the applicability of this title being that this star announced the immediate rising of the still brighter Sirius.
Buttmann asserted that it also was Al Kalb, the Dog, running in front p130of Sirius, but this must have been from early times in the Desert. In our maps it marks the right fore foot of the Dog.
The Chinese called it Kuen She, the Soldiers' Market.
γ, 4.5, is Burritt's Muliphen that properly belongs to δ and to stars in Columba; but the Century Atlas has it Mirza.
It is Isis with Bayer, which Ideler confirms, but Grotius applied the title to the adjacent μ, adding, however, nisi potius quarta sit, thus referring to γ, Diodorus Siculus has Isis herself state in a hieroglyphic inscription that she is the one "who riseth in the star that is in the Constellation of the Dog" (I.27.4). This might be any star of the constellation, but see the translator's note on that passage: at least one ancient authority identifies Isis with Sirius
Montanari said that it entirely disappeared in 1670, and was not again observed for twenty-three years, when it reappeared to Miraldi, and since has maintained a steady lustre, although faint for its lettering.
It marks the top of the Dog's head.
δ, 2.2, light yellow,

is the modern Wezen, from Al Wezn, Weight, "as the star seems to rise with difficulty from the horizon"; but Ideler justly calls this an astonishing star-name.
It also was one of the Muḥlifaïn particularly described under Columba.
The Chinese knew η and κ of Canis Major, with stars in Argo, as Hoo She, the Bow and Arrow.
Gould thought δ variable. It lies near the Dog's hind quarter, and has a 7.5-magnitude companion 2ʹ45ʺ away, readily seen with an opera-glass.

ε, Double, 2 and 9, pale orange and violet.

Adara, Adhara, Adard, Udara, and Udra are from Al ʽAdhārā, the Virgins, applied to this star in connection with δ, η, and ο; perhaps from the Arabic story of Suhail. It has also been designated Al Zara, with probably the same signification, although this form is erroneous.
The component stars are 7ʺ.5 apart, at a position angle of 160°.6.
ζ, 3, light orange.

Furud is either from Al Furud, the Bright Single Ones, or, perhaps by a transcriber's error, from Al Ḳurūd, the Apes, referring to the surrounding small stars with some of those of Columba; Ideler thought the latter derivation more probable. Al Sufi mentioned these as Al Agribah, the Ravens. ζ marks the toe of the right hind foot.

η, 2.4, pale red.

Aludra is from Al ʽAdhrā, the singular of Al ʽAdhārā, and one of that group. This title has been universal from the days of Arabian catalogues and globes to our modern lists.
Smyth wrote in his notes on η, "Well may Hipparchus be dubbed the Praeses of ancient astronomers!" for that great man used this star, then at 90° of right ascension, as convenient in astronomical reckoning.
μ, a double, of 4.7 and 8th magnitudes, 2ʺ.9 apart, yellow and blue, was known as Isis by Grotius, although he admitted that γ might have been the one referred to by this title.
ο1, a red star of the 4th magnitude, and π, a double, of 5th and 10th magnitudes, with other small stars in the body of the Dog, were the Chinese Ya Ke, the Wild Cock.
Bayer's star-lettering for this constellation ended with ο, but Bode added others down to ω.

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