|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
is occasionally known as Alphecca meridiana, which translates roughly
to mean "the middle of the bowl".
This article is ©2002
Stargazers Astronomy Shop