Larry's Pretty Good Word of the Day (prettygoodword) wrote,
Larry's Pretty Good Word of the Day
prettygoodword

asterism

asterism (AS-tuh-riz-uhm) - n., (astronomy) a group of stars that is not one of the traditionally established constellations; (mineralogy) a six-rayed star-shaped figure exhibited by some crystals in reflected or transmitted light; (typography) three asterisks in a triangular formation (⁂) used to call attention to a passage.


The first sense is the one I know best. The group can be part of a standard constellation (such as the Big Dipper, which is one part of Canis Major) or parts of several constellation (such as the Summer Triangle, which is the brightest stars of Lyra, Cygnus, and Aquila). The second is the star of a star sapphire:

Asterism in sapphire
Thanks, WikiMedia!

The third is now rarely used. First appears in the 1590s, from Greek asterismós, constellation, from astēr, star.

---L.

Crossposts: https://prettygoodword.dreamwidth.org/789906.html
You can comment here or there.
Subscribe

  • brabble

    brabble (BRAB-uhl) - v., to squabble. To bicker, to wrangle, to stubbornly argue, especially (and this is apparently a strong connotation) about…

  • bibliophagist

    Theme week! Because it's been a while since I did one, and I had a bunch of words in the queue beginning with B. bibliophagist…

  • epeolatry

    epeolatry (e-pee-AWL-uh-tree) - n., worship of words. Coined in 1860 by Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., in The Professor at the Breakfast-Table, from…

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 1 comment