Program for the February 5, 2016, OAS meeting

Stellar Nomenclature

By John Johnson


I will cover a short history of the naming of stars by ancient astronomers and where all the strange names came from. I will then discuss how the Johann Bayer Greek alphabet lettering came into use. I will then discuss the Flamsteed numbering system as well as some modern star catalog numbering systems used now. I will also try to touch on the confusing way variable stars are assigned letter designations.

Speaker Bio:

John has been an active amateur astronomer for nearly 50 years. He was raised on a farm in south central Nebraska, where every clear night the stars shown without interference from modern day light pollution! His first telescope was a 3-inch Newtonian Reflector from Edmund Scientific Company that he received for his 13th birthday, but he soon found he needed a bigger telescope, a 6-inch reflector, which he designed and assembled himself.

John is currently the Astronomy Outreach Coordinator with the Omaha Astronomical Society. John enjoys many aspects of amateur astronomy including observing, astro-photography, and both public and educational astronomy outreach.