A Conversation for Constellations: Piscis Austrinus 'the Southern Fish'

How "ancient" is ancient?

Post 1


I know the constellations normally visible from the Northern hemisphere have got associations and names that go back a long, long, way into antiquity and which somehow have come down the genrations to us virtually unchanged. These names are rooted in a lot of history and practice and cultural stuff which validates them and makes them "right", in some aestheticaly pleasing way, even if personally I'd be hard put to see "Cassiopaeia" as a woman sitting in a chair - (depending on how I look at it, the most I can see there is a capital "W", or sometimes an "M")

But the niggle about constellations visible from the Southern hemisphere is... who named them? When? does it only date from when European ships first got into Australian and Pacific waters, and are the names just "artifical" Western European constructs? What names, if any, do native peoples who WEREN'T blessed with being part of a classical tradition have for them, and should these be honoured first?

Thanks for the sort of Entry that gets you thinking!

How "ancient" is ancient?

Post 2


Generallly we use the Name the International Astronomical Union has. If this name goes back a couple thousand years we caqll it ancient.
If the name was devised in the last five hundred years we don't.
Occassionally if we know what early man called something we will include that info. Usually we just don't know.

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How "ancient" is ancient?

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