Bayer Designation

The Greek Alphabet

The twenty-four letters of the Greek alphabet

Probably the best known system of stellar designation, introduced by Johann Bayer in 1603. Under this system, stars are identified by Greek letters, followed by the genitive form of the constellation's name (for example, 'Alpha Centauri' or 'Tau Ceti'). Greek letters are usually applied in order of brightness, so the Alpha star is typically (but by no means always) the brightest in a constellation.


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