mercredi 1 octobre 2008

Crater 8

α, 4.1, orange.

Alkes is our title from Scaliger, but it also has been Alker, and in the Alfonsine Tables Alhes: all from Al Kās of the constellation.
The Latin designation for it — Fundus vasis — well describes its position at the base of the Cup.
Since it is the only named star in the figure, and the first lettered, it may have been brighter 300 years ago; but δ, a 3.9‑magnitude, is now the lucida.
α has several optical companions, and culminates on the 20th of April, about 32° nearly due south from β Leonis.
β, of 4.4 magnitude, at the southern edge of the base, was one of Al Tizini's Al Sharāsīf, the Ribs, — i.e. of the Hydra, — and the first of the set.

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