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Bill Thayer

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This webpage reproduces a section of
Star Names
Their Lore and Meaning

Richard Hinckley Allen

as reprinted
in the Dover edition, 1963

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!

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Each after each, ungrouped, unnamed, revolve.

Brown's Aratus.

Lynx sive Tigris, the Lynx or Tiger,

is the Italian Lince, the German Luchs and Linx, the French Lynx.

Its stars may have been those intended by Aratos where he mentioned,  p280 in our motto, some in front of the Greater Bear; but for the modern figure we are indebted to Hevelius. He used in it nineteen stars, and in explaining the title said that those who would examine the Lynx ought to be lynx-eyed, in which he acknowledged the insignificance of the components. Of these Argelander has catalogued 42, and Heis 87; but the boundaries are not accurately determined.

The alternative name, now in disuse, came from the fancied resemblance of the many little stars to spots on the tiger; and the same word was applied by Bartschius in 1624, although as the river Tigris, to some stars that subsequently were made into the Polish Bull and the Little Fox with the Goose.

In the Lynx appeared in July, 1893, the much-discovered comet b of that year, the Rordame-Quenisset.

The constellation seems chiefly noticeable for the beauty of its numerous doubles, of which Espin mentions fifty in his edition of Webb's Celestial Objects. Of one of these Professor Young writes in his Uranography:

38, or ρ Lyncis; Mags. 4, 7.5; Pos. 240°; Dist. 2″.9; white and lilac. This is the northern one of a pair of stars which closely resemble the three pairs that mark the paws of Ursa Major. This pair makes nearly an isosceles triangle with the two pairs λ μ and ι κ Ursa Majoris.

It might well have been utilized by the modern constructor, whoever he was, of our Ursa Major to complete the quartette of feet.

Baily thought Fl. 44 Lyncis the original 18th of Ursa Major in early catalogues.

Fl. 31 Lyncis, of 4.4 magnitude, the 8th of Ptolemy's ἀμόρφοτοι of Ursa Major, is given by Assemani as the Arabic Alsciaukat, a Thorn (Al‑Shaukah), and Masbuthat (Mabsūṭah), Expanded.

The constellation comes to the meridian in February, due north from the star Castor.

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Page updated: 11 Oct 07