Constellation Names

by John P. Pratt

The first three columns of the following table contain standard constellation names, pronunciationand abbreviations accepted by nearly all astronomers. The last column is my personal preferredEnglish name, which varies between astronomers and has never been standardized. Only ancientconstellations have been included, most of the modern ones are too dim or too far south to be worth learning.

Pronunciation Guide: a: hat; ay: hay; ah: father; e: met; ee: meet; i: hit; ye: bye; o: hot; oh: oh; oo:boot; u: up; uh: her; you: you. Capital letters indicate the loudest syllable.

Proper NamePronunciationAbbr.English Name
Andromedaan-DRAHM-e-duhAndPrincess
Aquariusuh-KWAIR-ee-usAqrWater Bearer
Aquilaa-KWI-luhAqlEagle
AraAHR-uhAraAltar
Argo (Carina, Puppis,Pyxis, and Vela)AHR-goh (ku-REE-nuh,PUP-is, PIK-sis, VEE-luh)Car, Pup,Pyx,VelShip (now broken into Keel,Stern, Compass, and Sail)
AriesAY-reezAriRam
Aurigaah-RYE-guhAurCharioteer
Bootesboh-OH-teezBooHerdsman
CancerKAN-surCncCrab
Canis MajorKAY-nus MAY-juhrCMaBig Dog
Canis MinorKAY-nus MYE-nuhrCMiLittle Dog
Capricornuska-pri-KORN-usCapSea Goat
Cassiopeiakas-ee-oh-PEE-uhCasQueen
Centaurussen-TAHR-usCenCentaur
CepheusSEE-fyousCepKing
CetusSEE-tusCetSea Monster
Corona Australiskoh-ROH-nuh ah-STRAYlisCrASouthern Crown
Corona Borealiskoh-ROH-nuh boh-ree-ALisCrBNorthern Crown
CorvusKOR-vusCrvRaven
CraterKRA-tuhrCrtCup
CruxKRUKSCruCross
CygnusSIG-nusCygSwan
Delphinusdel-FYE-nusDelDolphin
DracoDRAY-kohDraDragon
Eridanuse-RID-a-nusEriRiver of Fire
GeminiJEM-i-nyeGemTwins
HerculesHUHR-kyou-leezHerChampion
HydraHYE-druhHyaSea Serpent
LeoLEE-ohLeoLion
LepusLEE-pusLepHare
LibraLEE-bruhLibBalance
LupusLOO-pusLupBeast
LyraLYE-rahLyrLyre
Ophiuchusoff-i-YOU-kusOphSerpent Bearer
Orionoh-RYE-unOriHunter
PegasusPEG-uh-susPegWinged Horse
PerseusPUHR-syousPerHero
PiscesPYE-seezPscFishes
Piscis AustrinusPYE-sis ahs-TRYE-nusPsASouthern Fish
Sagittasah-JIT-uhSgeArrow
Sagittariussa-juh-TER-ee-usSgrArcher
ScorpiusSKOHR-pee-usScoScorpion
SerpensSUHR-penzSerSerpent
TaurusTAHR-usTauBull
Ursa MajorUHR-suh MAY-juhrUMaBig Bear
Ursa MinorUHR-suh MYE-nuhrUmiLittle Bear
VirgoVUHR-gohVirVirgin