Symbol Guide

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Symbols & Icons

There are many symbols involved in Astronomy, here are the most frequently used ones used on this course or on star maps.

Solar System Icons

  Sun

  Mercury

  Venus

  Earth

  Moon

  Mars

  Jupiter

  Saturn

  Uranus

  Neptune

  Pluto

 

Star Map

  Double Star

  Variable Star

  Galaxy

  Globular Cluster

  Open Cluster

  Planetary Nebula

  Diffuse Nebula

  Quasar

 

Common Symbols

  Right Acsension

  Declination

  Parallax

  Wavelength

  Ascending node

  Descending node

  Conjunction

  Opposition

 

Mathematical

2

Squared

3

Cubed



Greek Alphabet

Individual stars are classed by letters from the Greek alphabet. Usually 'Alpha' represents the brightest star in a constellation. When Greek letters 'run out', Flamsteed numbers indicate stars e.g 51 Pegasi. You must know the first 5 letters - alpha, beta, gamma, delta & epsilon.

 

    alpha

    iota

    rho

    beta

    kappa

    sigma

    gamma

    lambada

    tau

    delta

    mu

    upsilon

    epsilon

    nu

    phi

    zeta

    xi

    chi

    eta

    omnicron

    psi

    theta

    pi

    omega



UK Town Latitudes

These UK latitudes were taken from wwp.greenwichmeantime.co.uk
* If your location is East of Greenwich, London then your degrees west will be negative.

UK City/Town

Degrees
North

Degrees
West*

Belfast 54.60°N 5.93°W
Birmingham 52.48°N 1.91°W
Bradford 53.80°N 1.75°W
Bristol 51.46°N 2.60°W
Cardiff 51.48°N 3.18°W
Coventry 52.42°N 1.50°W
Derby 52.92°N 1.50°W
Edinburgh 55.95°N 3.22°W
Glasgow 55.87°N 4.27°W
Kingston upon Hull 53.75°N 0.36°W
 

UK City/Town

Degrees
North

Degrees
West*

Leeds 53.81°N 1.55°W
Leicester 52.64°N 1.13°W
Liverpool 53.42°N 2.99°W
London 51.52°N 0.10°W
Manchester 53.48°N 2.25°W
Nottingham 52.97°N 1.18°W
Plymouth 50.38°N 4.16°W
Sheffield 53.39°N 1.48°W
Stoke-on-Trent 53.01°N 2.19°W
Wolverhampton 52.59°N 2.15°W


Abbreviations

You may find some abbreviations used on other web sites you visit. These are some of the most common.


AU Astronomical Unit KSC Kennedy Space Center
BAe British Aerospace LY Light Year
BST British Summer Time M   Messier
CCD Charge-Coupled Device NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Dec Declination RA Right Ascension
ESA European Space Agency RAS Royal Astronomical Society
GMT Greenwich Mean Time SCT Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope
GPS Global Positioning System SETI Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence
HR Hertzsprung-Russell SOHO Solar Heliospheric Observatory
HST Hubble Space Telescope UTC Coordinated Universal Time
JPL Jet Propulsion Laboratory VLA Very Large Array
KAO Kuiper Airborne Observatory VLT Very Large Telescope


Constellations

A list of the 88 constellations with Latin, English and 3 letter abbreviation is below.


Latin

English

Abbr.

Andromeda Chained Lady AND
Antlia Air Pump ANT
Apus Bird of Paradise APS
Aquarius Water Bearer AQR
Aquila Eagle AQL
Ara Altar ARA
Aries Ram ARI
Auriga Charioteer AUR
Bootes Herdsman BOO
Caelum Engraving Tool CAE
Camelopardalis Giraffe CAM
Cancer Crab CNC
Canes Venatici Hunting Dogs CVN
Canis Major Larger Dog CMA
Canis Minor Smaller Dog CMI
Capricornus Water Goat CAP
Carina Keel CAR
Cassiopeia Queen CAS
Centaurus Centaur CEN
Cepheus King CEP
Cetus Whale/Sea Monster CET
Chamaleon Chameleon CHA
Circinus Compasses CIR
Columba Dove COL
Coma Berenices Berenices Hair COM
Corona Australis Southern Crown CRA
Corona Borealis Northern Crown CRB
Corvus Crow, Raven CRV
Crater Cup CRT
Crux Southern Cross CRU
Cygnus Swan CYG
Delphinus Dolphin DEL
Dorado Swordfish DOR
Draco Dragon DRA
Equuleus Little Horse EQL
Eridanus River ERI
Fornax Furnace FOR
Gemini Twins GEM
Grus Crane GRU
Hercules Hero; Hercules HER
Horologium Clock HOR
Hydra Water Serpent HYA
Hydrus Water Snake HYI
Indus Indian IND
 

Latin

English

Abbr.

Lacerta Lizard LAC
Leo Lion LEO
Leo Minor Smaller Lion LMI
Lepus Hare LEP
Libra Scales LIB
Lupus Wolf LUP
Lynx Lynx LYN
Lyra Lyre LYR
Mensa Table MEN
Microscopium Microscope MIC
Monoceros Unicorn MON
Musca Fly MUS
Norma Square NOR
Octans Octant OCT
Ophiucus Serpent Bearer OPH
Orion Hunter; Orion ORI
Pavo Peacock PAV
Pegasus Winged Horse PEG
Perseus Perseus the Hero PER
Phoenix Phoenix PHE
Pictor Easel PIC
Pisces Fishes PSC
Pisces Austrinus Southern Fish PSA
Puppis Stern PUP
Pyxis Compass PYX
Reticulum Net RET
Sagitta Arrow SGE
Sagittarius Archer SGR
Scorpius Scorpion SCO
Sculptor Sculptor SCL
Scutum Shield SCT
Serpens Serpent SER
Sextans Sextant SEX
Taurus Bull TAU
Telescopium Telescope TEL
Triangulum Triangle TRI
Triangulum Australe Southern Triangle TRA
Tucana Toucan TUC
Ursa Major Greater Bear UMA
Ursa Minor Smaller Bear UMI
Vela Sails VEL
Virgo Maiden VIR
Volans Flying Fish VOL
Vulpecula Fox VUL