Star label Beta Gru

Asked by Robert O'Connell on 2017-08-03

Beta Gru is labeled Deneb Alnahr. I find no such reference anywhere else. Please provide reference. Thanks, RMO

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Alexander Wolf (alexwolf) said :

Jack W. Rhoads - Technical Memorandum 33-507-A Reduced Star Catalog Containing 537 Named Stars, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology; November 15, 1971 []

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Robert O'Connell (captainstarace) said :

Excellent, thanks. I believe names have shaken out some since this document was developed. Interesting a recent IAU star names list excludes Beta Gru, so Deneb Alnahr it is! RMO

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gzotti (georg-zotti) said :

Thanks for asking. We are in a process of retrofitting star names with sources and rethinking what are useful and less useful names. But this will take some time.

I must admit however that I have some reservation against using this work, likely unknown outside JPL, as standard reference, because it does not give sources itself and was as I can see was not intended to do that. The name may be from one of its cited works, but even then I am afraid it is the work of a European. Given that Allen gives Al Na'ir (bright one) for alpha Gru, and ad Dhanab (tail) for gamma Gru and associates both with PsA, this Deneb Alnahr looks to me like somebody assumed Alnahr to mean "Crane", ignored (or was unaware of) the existing ad-Dhanab (Deneb Hut/fish tail) and placed yet another "Deneb" label (known to mean tail) to the star at the place where the new bird should have it.

I am also in serious doubt about all the stars with Roman numeral add-ons in this catalog. For me, given the very special kind of source, this list could be isolated into a single sky culture, "JPL JASC names".

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Robert O'Connell (captainstarace) said :

Can't say the JPL list is not ambitious: 537 stars is the largest list I've found. I'm merging every list I can find to include basic technical data like class and radial velocity, plus alternative names, pronunciations and folklore.

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gzotti (georg-zotti) said :

Stellarium's list is also constantly growing. However, it became obvious that for further best use these names require proper origin, and for me the JPL list is a second-hand collection. Like a "world ethnology museum" without any labels, all objects mixed together, sorted by size or colour.

I think a more useful approach is having well-known names only (like those approved by IAU, or those found in current GOTO mounts) in the default list targeted to beginners, and a more extensive list with all available info in some extension targeted to scientists.