dimanche 5 octobre 2008

Orion 15

Orion's studded belt.
Scott's Lay of the Last Minstrel.

These Arabian titles of δ, ε, and ζ, although now applied to them individually, were at first indiscriminately used for the three together; but they had other names also, — Al Nijād, the Belt; Al Nasaḳ, the Line; Al Alḳāṭ, the Golden Grains, Nuts, or Spangles; and Faḳār al Jauzah, the Vertebrae in the Jauzah's back. Niebuhr cited the modern Arabic Al Mīzān al Ḥaḳḳ,º the Accurate Scale-beam, so distinguishing them from the curved line of the fainter c, θ, ι, d, and κ, Al Mīzān al Baṭīl, the False Scale-beam. The Chinese similarly knew them as a Weighing-beam, with the stars of the sword as a weight at one end.
They were the Jugula and Jugulae of Plautus, Varro, and others in Roman literature; the Balteus, or Belt, and the Vagina, or Scabbard, of Germanicus. The Zona of Ovid may have been taken from the Ζώνη of Aristotle.
The early Hindus called them Iṣus Trikāṇḍā, the Three-jointed Arrow; but the later transferred it to the nakshatra title, Mrigaçiras.
The Sogdian Rashnawand and the Khorasmian Khawiya have significations akin to our word "Rectitude," which this straight line of stars personified. The Rabbi Isaac Israel said that it was the Mazzārōth, Mazzālōth, or Mazlātha that most of his nation applied to the zodiac.
Riccioli cited Baculus Jacobi, which became in popular English speech Jacob's Rod or Staff, — the German Jakob Stab, — from the tradition given by Eusebius that Israel was an astrologer, as, indeed, he doubtless was; and some had it Peter's Staff. Similarly, it with the Norse Fiskikallar, or Staff; the Scandinavian Frigge Rok, Frigg's, or Freya's Distaff, — in West Gothland Frigge Rakken, — and Maria Rok, Mary's Distaff; in Schleswig, Peri-pik. In Lapland it was altered to Kalevan Miekka, Kaleva's Sword, or still more changed to Niallar, a Tavern; while the Greenlanders had a very different figure here, — Siktut, the Seal‑hunters, bewildered when lost at sea, and transferred together to the sky.
The native Australians knew the stars as Young Men dancing a corroboree, the Pleiades being the Maidens playing for them; and the Poignave Indians of the Orinoco, according to Von Humboldt, as Fuebot, a word that he said resembled the Phoenician.
The University of Leipsic, in 1807, gave to the Belt and the stars in the Sword the new title Napoleon, which a retaliating Englishman offset by Nelson; but neither of these has been recognized on star‑maps or -globes.
Seamen have called it the Golden Yard-arm; tradesmen, the L, or Ell, the Ell and Yard, the Yard-stick, and the Yard-wand, as occupying 3° between the outer stars, — the Elwand of Gavin Douglas; Catholics, Our Lady's Wand; and the husbandmen of France and along the Rhine, Râteau, the Rake. In upper Germany it has been the Three Mowers; and it is often the Magi, the Three Kings, the Three Marys, or simply the Three Stars, that Tennyson had in his Princess,—

those three stars of the airy Giants' zone
That glitter burnished by the frosty dark.
The celestial equator now passes through the Belt, but was 12° below it 4000 years ago.
η, Triple, 3.5, 5, and 5,

occasionally and very appropriately has been designed Saiph, from Saif al Jabbār, the Sword of the Giant; but this title included other adjacent stars in the same line oversight, — the Ensis of Cicero, — and all supposed to have been a separate constellation with Pliny.
Al Sufi called them Al Alḳāṭ, which we have seen applied to the Belt; and Burritt, the Ell, because this line of stars "is once and a quarter the length of the yard."

θ1, 4.6, pale white,
although not individually named, marks the Fish-mouth of the Great Nebula, NGC 1976, 42 M., in the sword scabbard of the figure, with the celebrated Trapezium in its midst. De Quincey gave a characteristic description of it in one of his Essays in Philosophy.
This nebula, faintly visible to the naked eye, was not even mentioned by Galileo, and is generally thought to have been accidentally discovered by Christian Huygens in 1656, and described in his Systema Saturnium half a century after Galileo's adaptation of the principle of the telescope to astronomical use; but Cysatus of Lucerne had already known it in 1618, This was the first3 object to which Sir William directed, on the 4th of March, 1774, the first serviceable telescope of his own construction after two hundred failures; and the first nebula to be successfully photographed, as it was by Professor Henry Draper, at Hastings-upon‑Hudson, on the 30th of September, 1880.
Its spectrum is purely gaseous, and spectroscopic investigations by Sir William and Lady Huggins seem to show "a unity of composition of the [trapezium] stars and nebulae which surround them and link them together." Keeler finds from spectroscopic observations that it and our system are separating at the rate of ten miles a second. Holden thinks it of fluctuating brightness.
The nebula proper covers a space equal to the apparent size of the moon, but nebulosity extends over a very much larger area, for recent observations by Swift, by William H. Pickering in 1889 from Wilson's Peak, reveal nebulous matter, 14° or 15° in diameter, that includes the Belt and much of the body of Orion. Barnard says of it: "Compared with this enormous nebula, the old θ, or so‑called Great Nebula, is but a pigmy." A million of globes, each equal in diameter to that of the earth's orbit, would not equal this in extent. One of the Harvard photographs of 1889 showed a certain amount of spiral structure in the Great Nebula.
The adjacent nebula, NGC 1982, catalogued separately by Messier as 43, is shown on a photograph of the 30th of November, 1886, by Roberts, to be connected with it by threads of nebulosity.
At least six stars are found in the Trapezium, the four largest being of the 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th magnitudes, easily visible in a 2 1/4-inch glass with a power of 140. They may form a system. Huygens noted the triplicity of θ1 when he discovered the nebula; the 4th component was first seen in 1684; the 5th was "discovered by Robert Hooke in 1664, but forgotten and rediscovered by Struve in 1826"; and the 6th was first seen by Sir John Herschel, on the 13th of February, 1830. More are claimed by some recent observers, but Burnham disputes their existence.
In 3.36 square degrees of the θ1 nebula Bond catalogued nearly 1000 stars.
ι, Triple and nebulous, 3.5, 8.5, and 11, white, pale blue, and grape red.

Al Tizini designated this as Nā'ir al Saif, the Bright One in the Sword, but it is practically unnamed with us, although far more deserving of the title Saiph than is the succeeding star κ.
In China it was Fa, a Middle-man, υ and intermediate stars being included under this name; but Edkins translates the word "Punishment," and gives another title for it, — Tui, or Jui, the Sharp Edge, analogous to the Arabian Saif and perhaps taken from it.
It lies just south of θ, inclosed in faint nebulosity. The two larger stars are 11ʺ.5 apart, with a position angle of 142° the 11th‑magnitude companion is 49ʺ away, at a position angle of 103°.
κ, 2.4,

located near the right knee, was appropriately described by the Arabic astronomers as Rijl Jauzah al Yamnā, the Right Leg of the Jauzah, but we now know it as Saiph, from Al Saif, the Sword, although it is at some distance from that weapon, and the name really belongs to η, ι, and stars near by.

In his vast Head immerst in boundless spheres
Three Stars less bright, but yet as great, he bears.
But further off remov'd, their Splendor's lost.
Creech's Manilius.
λ, Double, 3.8 and 6, pale white and violet.

Al Maisān, the title of γ Geminorum, by some error of Firuzabadi was applied to this star as Meissa, and is now common for it. Al Sufi called it Al Taḥāyī; but Al Ferghani and Al Tizini knew it as Rās al Jauzah, the Head of the Jauzah, which it marks.
The original Arabic name, Al Haḳʽah, a White Spot, was from the added faint light of the smaller φ1 and φ2 in the background, and has descended to us as Heka and Hika. These three stars were another of the Athāfiyy of the Arabs; and everywhere in early astrology were thought, like all similar groups, to be of unfortunate influence in human affairs.
They constituted the Euphratean lunar station Mas-tab-ba-tur-tur, the Little Twins, a title also found for γ and η Geminorum; and inactively were important stars among the Babylonians, rising to them with the sun at the summer solstice, and, with α and γ, were known as Kakkab Sar, the Constellation of the King. In other lunar zodiacs they were the Sogdian Marezānā, and the Khorasmian Ikhma, the Twins; the Persian Aveçr, the Coronet; and the Coptic Klusos, Watery. They also were the 3rd manzil, Al Haḳʽah the sieu Tsee, or Tsuy He, the Beak, or Pouting Lips, anciently Tsok, which Reeves gave as Keo; and the nakshatra Mrigaçiras, or Mrigaçirshā, the Head of the Stag, — Soma, the Moon, being its presiding divinity, and λ the junction star toward Ārdrā, and its determinant. As to this lunar station Professor Whitney very reasonably wrote:
It is not a little strange that the framers of the system should have chosen for marking the 3d station this faint group, to the neglect of the brilliant and conspicuous pair β and p319ζ Tauri, the tips of the Bull's horns. There is hardly another case where we have so much reason to find fault with their selection.
But they were possibly influenced by recollection of the fact that the vernal equinox lay here 4500 B.C. In addition to the customary Hindu title, Weber mentioned Andhakā, Blind, apparently from its dimness; Āryikā, Honorable, or Worthy; and Invakā, of doubtful meaning, sometimes read Invalā.
In China these stars were Sï ma ts'ien, the Head of the Tiger.
Ulug Beg, as well as Naṣr al Din, likened the group to the letter of the Persian alphabet that was similar in form to the Greek Λ. La Lande wrote of them:
qui ressemblent à un jeu de trois noix, ce qui a fait appeller cette constellation Nux, ou Juglans, Stella jugula.
Hipparchos did not allude to them, but Ptolemy called them ὁ νεφελοειδής, the Nebulous One, for such is their appearance to the casual observer, and has been their designation in all early catalogues, even to Flamsteed's in his in capite Orionis nebulosa.
Although called double, λ has a second faint companion 149ʺ above it, visible by a 3 1/2-glass; and another, of the 12th magnitude, 27ʺ distant. The two largest stars are 4ʺ.2 apart, at a position angle of 40°.3.
λ and the two stars φ furnish an easy refutation of the popular error as of that apparent magnitude of the moon's disc, Colas writing of this in the Celestial Handbook of 1892:
In looking at this triangle nobody would think that the moon could be inserted in it; but as the distance from λ to φ1 is 27ʹ, and the distance from φ1 to φ2 is 33ʹ, it is a positive fact;
the moon's mean apparent diameter being 31ʹ7ʺ. This illusion, prevalent in all ages, has attracted the attention of many great men; Ptolemy, Roger Bacon, Kepler, and others having treated of it. The lunar disc, seen by the naked eye of an uninstructed observer, appears, as it is frequently expressed, "about the size of a dinner-plate," but should be seen as only equal to a peppercorn, or as a circle a half-inch in diameter fifty-seven inches away; or, to write it astronomically, equal to the planet Jupiter viewed at opposition through a telescope magnifying forty diameters; or equal to Mars magnified seventy-four times when at his nearest approach to the earth and distant thirty-four millions of miles. To still better illustrate this, Professor Young tells us that the planet Venus,
when about midway between greatest elongation and inferior conjunction, has an apparent diameter of 40ʺ, so that, with a magnifying power of only 45, she looks exactly like the moon four days old, and of precisely the same apparent size.
ν, 4.7, and ξ, 4.6,

were the Chinese Shwuy Foo, a Water-depot.
They mark Orion's right hand, any being the radiant point of the fine meteor stream, the Orionids, of the 18th of October.
ο1, ο2, π1, π2, π3, π4, π5, π6, and g,

all of the 4th to the 5th magnitudes, in a vertical line at the right of the figure, indicate the lion's skin; but Al Tizini said that they were the Persians' Al Tāj, the Crown, or Tiara, of their kings; and the Arabians' Al Kumm, the Sleeve of the garment in which they dressed the Giant, the skin being omitted.
Ulug Beg called them Al Dhawāib, Anything Pendent; and the Borgian globe had the same, perhaps originated it; but Al Sufi's title was Manica, a Latin term for a protecting Gauntlet; and Grotius gave a lengthy dissertation on the Mantile which some anonymous person applied to them, figured as a cloth thrown over the Giant's arm.
With Pliny these stars in the lion's skin are supposed to have been a separate constellation known as the Shield, made from the bull's hide of the Hyriean legend.
They were the Chinese Tsan Ke, the Three Flags.
τ, 3.6, lies just north of Rigel, and was known in China as Yuh Tsing, the Golden Well.

υ, 4.7.

Thabit is Burritt's name for an unlettered star on his Atlas, the υ of Heis.
It lies on the lower edge of the tunic, but I cannot learn the derivation or history of the title, although the Arabic Al Thābit signifies the "Endurer."

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