STAR LORE
 

STORIES FROM THE STARS
 
 

Corona Australis the Southern Crown
 
 
Corona Australis is a small constellation that lies to the south of the "teapot" of Sagittarius the Archer.  Although it seems quite small and un-noteworthy it was still included in the 48 ancient constellations listed by Ptolemy.  It was considered not so much as a crown but a wreath, as centaurs were commonly represented as wearing these items in those times, and to be regarded as the wreath worn by the centaur depicted as Sagittarius.  In Richard Hinkley Allen's Star Names, Their Lore and Meaning the idea of the wreath-wearing centaurs is thought to originate from pre-Babylonian times with a kind of celestial horse that were drawn with rays of sunlight fanning out from behind their heads in a crown-like form.  Some classical poets thought the stars of this graceful curve to mark a bunch of arrows held by The Archer.  

It's brightest star, 4th magnitude alpha (a), is occasionally known as Alphecca meridiana, which translates roughly to mean "the middle of the bowl".  

This article is ©2002 Stargazers Astronomy Shop

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