13 July 2012

Antlia, Ara, Carina, Columba, Dorado, Fornax...

Who, what, or where are these words?

... Grus, Lacerta, Mensa, Norma, Pavo, Pictor, Reticulum, Sculptor, Triangulum, Vela...

(answer beneath the fold)

Those are the names of some of the 88 constellations used in modern astronomy.

And those who are picky about word choices should note that "constellations properly speaking are not patterns of stars, as in the common use of the word, but areas of the sky (the celestial sphere).

One other tywk-type fact:
Various other unofficial patterns have existed alongside the constellations. These are known as "asterisms." Examples include the Big Dipper and the Northern Cross. 
(with a hat tip to reader WDitot for correcting some spelling errors in this post.  Tx.)


  1. My guess would have been that they were names for Nebula or Galaxies.

    Carina Nebula, Triangulum Galaxy, Reticulum Galaxy, Fomax Cluster, most likely given their names in relation to which constellation they are seen in or around :)

  2. Don't forget the star, Eta Carinae! One of the most dangerous and mind boggling stars in our galaxy! Some scientists have speculated that when it explodes, it will be bright enough to read by at night and will be visible during the day.

  3. Stan, I really loved this word, "tywk". I haven't seen you using that before. How is it pronounced?

    1. It's a manufactured acronym for "Things You Wouldn't Know," based on the blog title. I pronounce the blog "Tai-wiki-widbee", so I suppose "tywk" would come out "tai-wik", but I think it's better left unpronounced, to fade into obscurity.

    2. Not ever! It is far more then an acronym, it is for sure a word, like idk, "whiskey tango foxtrot" and others common in english language, and useful for everyday conversation and internet. I bet it can catch up even in Twitter, because it is short and odd-looking, difficult to miss (two semivogals right there). I like it. More people will.


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