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.
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.