The Constellations

Constellation Abbreviations Origin Meaning
Andromeda
And Andr ancient (Ptolemy) Andromeda (mythological character)
Antlia
Ant Antl 1763, Lacaille air pump
Apus
Aps Apus 1603, ‘Uranometria’, created by Keyser and de Houtman bird of paradise
Aquarius
Aqr Aqar ancient (Ptolemy) water-bearer
Aquila
Aql Aqil ancient (Ptolemy) eagle
Ara
Ara Arae ancient (Ptolemy) altar
Aries
Ari Arie ancient (Ptolemy) ram
Auriga
Aur Auri ancient (Ptolemy) charioteer
Boötes
Boo Boot ancient (Ptolemy) herdsman
Caelum Cae Cael 1763, Lacaille sculptor’s chisel
Camelopardalis
Cam Caml 1613, Plancius giraffe
Cancer
Cnc Canc ancient (Ptolemy) crab
Canes Venatici
CVn CVen 1690, ‘Firmamentum Sobiescianum’, Hevelius hunting dogs
Canis Major
CMa CMaj ancient (Ptolemy) greater dog
Canis Minor
CMi CMin ancient (Ptolemy) lesser dog
Capricornus
Cap Capr ancient (Ptolemy) goat (originally a sea-goat)
Carina
Car Cari 1763, Lacaille, split from Argo Navis keel
Cassiopeia
Cas Cass ancient (Ptolemy) Cassiopeia (mythological character)
Centaurus
Cen Cent ancient (Ptolemy) centaur
Cepheus
Cep Ceph ancient (Ptolemy) Cepheus (mythological character)
Cetus
Cet Ceti ancient (Ptolemy) sea monster (later interpreted as a whale)
Chamaeleon
Cha Cham 1603, ‘Uranometria’, created by Keyser and de Houtman chameleon
Circinus
Cir Circ 1763, Lacaille pair of dividers (drawing tool)
Columba
Col Colm 1592, Plancius, split from Canis Major Noah’s dove
Coma Berenices
Com Coma 1603, ‘Uranometria’, split from Leo Berenice’s hair
Corona Australis
CrA CorA ancient (Ptolemy) southern crown
Corona Borealis
CrB CorB ancient (Ptolemy) northern crown
Corvus
Crv Corv ancient (Ptolemy) crow
Crater
Crt Crat ancient (Ptolemy) cup
Crux
Cru Cruc 1603, ‘Uranometria’, split from Centaurus southern cross
Cygnus
Cyg Cygn ancient (Ptolemy) swan
Delphinus
Del Dlph ancient (Ptolemy) dolphin (mammal)
Dorado
Dor Dora 1603, ‘Uranometria’, created by Keyser and de Houtman gold fish
Draco
Dra Drac ancient (Ptolemy) dragon
Equuleus
Equ Equl ancient (Ptolemy) little horse (foal)
Eridanus
Eri Erid ancient (Ptolemy) river Eridanus (mythology)
Fornax
For Forn 1763, Lacaille chemical furnace
Gemini
Gem Gemi ancient (Ptolemy) twins
Grus
Gru Grus 1603, ‘Uranometria’, created by Keyser and de Houtman crane (bird)
Hercules
Her Herc ancient (Ptolemy) Hercules (mythological character)
Horologium
Hor Horo 1763, Lacaille pendulum clock
Hydra
Hya Hyda ancient (Ptolemy) Hydra (mythological creature)
Hydrus
Hyi Hydi 1603, ‘Uranometria’, created by Keyser and de Houtman lesser water snake
Indus
Ind Indi 1603, ‘Uranometria’, created by Keyser and de Houtman Indian (native American)
Lacerta
Lac Lacr 1690, ‘Firmamentum Sobiescianum’, Hevelius lizard
Leo
Leo Leon ancient (Ptolemy) lion
Leo Minor
LMi LMin 1690, ‘Firmamentum Sobiescianum’, Hevelius lesser lion
Lepus
Lep Leps ancient (Ptolemy) hare
Libra
Lib Libr ancient (Ptolemy) balance
Lupus
Lup Lupi ancient (Ptolemy) wolf
Lynx
Lyn Lync 1690, ‘Firmamentum Sobiescianum’, Hevelius lynx
Lyra
Lyr Lyra ancient (Ptolemy) lyre
Mensa
Men Mens 1763, Lacaille Table Mountain (South Africa)
Microscopium
Mic Micr 1763, Lacaille microscope
Monoceros
Mon Mono 1613, Plancius unicorn
Musca
Mus Musc 1603, ‘Uranometria’, created by Keyser and de Houtman fly
Norma
Nor Norm 1763, Lacaille carpenter’s rule and square
Octans
Oct Octn 1763, Lacaille mariner’s octant
Ophiuchus
Oph Ophi ancient (Ptolemy) serpent-holder
Orion
Ori Orio ancient (Ptolemy) Orion (mythological character)
Pavo
Pav Pavo 1603, ‘Uranometria’, created by Keyser and de Houtman peacock
Pegasus
Peg Pegs ancient (Ptolemy) Pegasus (mythological winged horse)
Perseus
Per Pers ancient (Ptolemy) Perseus (mythological character)
Phoenix
Phe Phoe 1603, ‘Uranometria’, created by Keyser and de Houtman phoenix
Pictor
Pic Pict 1763, Lacaille painter’s easel
Pisces
Psc Pisc ancient (Ptolemy) fishes
Piscis Austrinus
PsA PscA ancient (Ptolemy) southern fish
Puppis
Pup Pupp 1763, Lacaille, split from Argo Navis poop deck
Pyxis
Pyx Pyxi 1763, Lacaille ship’s compass
Reticulum
Ret Reti 1763, Lacaille eyepiece graticule
Sagitta
Sge Sgte ancient (Ptolemy) arrow
Sagittarius
Sgr Sgtr ancient (Ptolemy) archer
Scorpius
Sco Scor ancient (Ptolemy) scorpion
Sculptor
Scl Scul 1763, Lacaille sculptor’s workshop
Scutum
Sct Scut 1690, ‘Firmamentum Sobiescianum’, Hevelius shield (of Sobieski)
Serpens
Ser Serp ancient (Ptolemy) snake
Sextans
Sex Sext 1690, ‘Firmamentum Sobiescianum’, Hevelius astronomical sextant
Taurus
Tau Taur ancient (Ptolemy) bull
Telescopium
Tel Tele 1763, Lacaille telescope
Triangulum
Tri Tria ancient (Ptolemy) triangle
Triangulum Australe
TrA TrAu 1603 ‘Uranometria’, created by Keyser and de Houtman southern triangle
Tucana
Tuc Tucn 1603 ‘Uranometria’, created by Keyser and de Houtman toucan
Ursa Major
UMa UMaj ancient (Ptolemy) Great Bear
Ursa Minor
UMi UMin ancient (Ptolemy) Lesser Bear
Vela
Vel Velr 1763, Lacaille, split from Argo Navis sails
Virgo
Vir Virg ancient (Ptolemy) virgin
Volans
Vol Voln 1603, ‘Uranometria’, created by Keyser and de Houtman flying fish
Vulpecula
Vul Vulp 1690, ‘Firmamentum Sobiescianum’, Hevelius fox
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