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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  Monoceros, the Unicorn,

das Einhorn in Germany, la Licorne in France, and il Unicorno or Licorno in Italy, lies in the large but comparatively vacant field between the two Dogs, Orion, and the Hydra, the celestial equator passing through it  p290 lengthwise from the Belt of Orion to the tail of the animal, just below the head of Hydra. Proctor assigned to it the alternative title Cervus.

Its 4.6‑magnitude S, or Fl. 15, marks the head of the figure, facing towards the west.

This is a modern constellation, generally supposed to have been first charted by Bartschius as Unicornu; but Olbers and Ideler say that it was of much earlier formation, the latter quoting allusions to it, in the work of 1564, as "the other Horse south of the Twins and the Crab"; and Scaliger found it on a Persian sphere.

Flammarion's identification of it with the still earlier Neper has already been mentioned under Microscopium.

Monoceros seems to have no star individually named, but the Chinese asterisms Sze Fūh, the Four Great Canals; Kwan Kew; and Wae Choo, the Outer Kitchen, all lay within its boundaries.

It contains 66 naked-eye stars according to Argelander, — Heis says 112, — and is interesting chiefly from its many telescopic clusters, and as being located in the Milky Way.

It comes to the meridian in February, due south from Procyon.

α, the lucida, is Fl. 30, of 3.6 magnitude.

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Page updated: 10 Dec 08