mercredi 1 octobre 2008

Centaurus 11

β, 1.2.

Burritt located this near the right fore leg, calling it Agena but gave no meaning or derivation of the word, and I have not found it elsewhere; Bayer placed it on the left hind quarter.(Allen, who correctly deciphered the meaning of Bungula, failed to recognize Agena as a similar compound, α and gena, the knee. — Donald H. Menzel, 1963).
Ḥaḍar and Wazn, Ground and Weight, seem to have been applied without much definiteness to α and β of this constellation, and to stars in Cargo, Columba, and Canis Major, probably on account of their proximity to the horizon; the meridian altitude of β, 1000 years at Cairo, in 30° of north latitude, being only 4°. Hyde, however, said that α and γ were the stars referred to by these Arabic titles.
The Chinese call β Mah Fuh, the Horse's Belly.
This and α are the Southern Pointers, i.e. towards the Southern Cross, often regarded as the Cynosure of the southern hemisphere.
The Bushmen of South Africa knew them as Two Men that once were Lions; and the Australian natives as Two Brothers who speared Tchingal to death, the eastern stars of the Cross being the spear points that pierced his body.
γ, 2.4, that Bayer placed on the right fore foot, with τ, 4.4, were the early Chinese Koo Low, an Arsenal Tower; and δ, 2.8, was the later Ma Wei, the Horse's Tail.
The early ε, ζ, ν, and ξ2, the four Dictis a nautis Croziers of Halley's catalogue, are the Southern Cross; ζ probably being Al Tizini's Al Nāʼir al Baṭn al Kentaurus, the Bright One in the Centaur's Belly.

θ, Double and variable, 2.2. to 2.7 and 14.3, red and bluish,

appears in the Century Cyclopedia as Chort, an error from the editor's writing Centauri for Leonis, this letter and title really belonging to θ Leonis, on the hind quarter of the Lion near the Ribs, that the Arabic Ḣārātan signifies. θ in this constellation marks the left shoulder of the figure.
Harvard observers at Arequipa have reported an 8th‑magnitude companion 3ʺ away, at a position angle of 180°. See does not find this at the Lowell observatories; but in 1897 discovered the companion noted in the heading, about 70ʺ away, at a position angle of 128°.6.
In China κ was Ke Kwan, a Cavalry Officer; μ, ν, and φ were Wei, the Balance; i, g, k, ψ, and A, with another adjacent, were Choo, a Pillar; and some small stars near the foot of the Cross were Hae Shan, the Sea and the Mountain.
The letter ω was applied by Bayer to a hazy 4th‑magnitude star in imo dorso A bit of Victorian prudery here; the only reason for the Latin (imo dorso = "lowest back") is to camouflage that the part of the human body being referred to is the seat, of the human part of the figure, which Halley, in 1677, inserted in his catalogue as a nebula; but at Feldhausen, on the Cape of Good Hope, the better telescope of Sir John Herschel showed it as "a noble globular cluster, beyond all comparison the richest and largest in the heavens." This appears absolutely round, 20ʹ in diameter, and contains many thousands of 13th- to 15th‑magnitude stars; while its uniform structure indicates that it may be among the youngest of its class. It is the , and has been splendidly photographed by Bailey at Arequipa, showing 6336 stars, among which he finds 122 variables.
It comes to the meridian on the 1st of June, about 36° south of Spica, but is invisible from north of the 34th parallel.

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