asterism [as-tuh-riz-uh m] ExamplesWord Origin noun

  1. Astronomy.
    1. a group of stars.
    2. a constellation.
  2. Mineralogy. a property of some crystallized minerals of showing a starlike luminous figure in transmitted light or, in a cabochon-cut stone, by reflected light.
  3. three asterisks ( or ) printed to draw attention to a passage it precedes.

Origin of asterism 1590–1600; Greek asterism(ós) a marking with stars. See asterisk, -ism Related formsas·ter·is·mal, adjective Examples from the Web for asterism Historical Examples of asterism

  • There is nothing of particular interest to be noted in this asterism.

    A Field Book of the Stars

    William Tyler Olcott

  • In mythology the asterism is personified as one of the daughters of Daksha, and wives of the moon.

    Nala and Damayanti and Other Poems

    Henry Hart Milman

  • On p. 291, the asterism (three asterisks forming a triangle) is represented simply three asterisks.

    Adventures of the Ojibbeway and Ioway Indians in England, France, and Belgium; Vol. I (of 2)

    George Catlin

  • An individual belongs to the animal to which the asterism under which he was born belongs.

    Castes and Tribes of Southern India

    Edgar Thurston

  • The stars γ and β are pointer stars to a fifth-magnitude star the lucida of the asterism Lacerta, the lizard about 15° from β.

    A Field Book of the Stars

    William Tyler Olcott

  • British Dictionary definitions for asterism asterism noun

    1. three asterisks arranged in a triangle (⁂ or ), to draw attention to the text that follows
    2. a starlike effect seen in some minerals and gemstones when viewed by reflected or transmitted light
    3. a cluster of stars, which may be a subset or a superset of a constellation

    Word Origin for asterism C16: from Greek asterismos arrangement of constellations, from astēr star Word Origin and History for asterism n.

    1590s, “a constellation, a group of stars,” from Greek asterismos “a marking with stars,” from aster “star” (see astro-). Any grouping of stars, whether a constellation or not (though in modern use, usually the latter). The “Big Dipper” is an asterism, not a constellation.

    asterism in Science asterism [ăs′tə-rĭz′əm]

    1. A pattern of stars that is not one of the traditionally established, named constellations. Asterisms may constitute a part of a larger constellation, as in the case of the seven stars in Ursa Major that make up the Big Dipper, or they may be formed of individual stars in several different constellations, as in the case of the Summer Triangle, made up of Deneb (in Cygnus), Altair (in Aquila), and Vega (in Lyra).

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