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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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 p289  Microscopium,

formed by La Caille south of Capricornus and west of Piscis Australis, although small and unimportant, contains sixty-nine stars, varying in magnitude from 4.8 to 7, the lucida being θ1. The constellation comes to the meridian in September, nearly due south of β Aquarii.

In its vicinity, perhaps including it, was an early figure referred to, in a German astronomical work of 1564 from Frankfurt, as Neper, the Auger, Ideler's Bohrer, which he thus described:

It is situated at the tail of Sagittarius and Capricornus, and has many stars. At the head of the Neper two, and on the iron three.

Brown alludes to it as an unknown object, and illustrates it in the 47th volume of Archaeologia as from a German astronomical manuscript of the 15th century; but Flammarion, in les Étoiles, probably referring to this same manuscript, thus mentions Neper, as the predecessor of Monoceros:

Il est question de la constellation du Neper or Foret, qui n'est autre que la Licorne.

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Page updated: 15 Jun 11