i am an unrequited astronomer, pretend patient, gentle adventurer, pedal enthusiast, recovering calligrapher, occasional thespian and unfinished poet living in portland, oregon. contacting me via email is usually a good idea.
11:27 AM: learning something new every day
alderaan isn't just a star wars reference: it's an asterism!
"Alderaan is an unused name for the two pairs of stars α and β Canis Minoris (Procyon and Gomeisa) and α and β Geminorum (Castor and Pollux). The name was taken from Arabic al-dhirā`ain الذراعين (= "the two forearms" or "the two front paws" or "the two cubit measuring rods"). The term originally referred to the "measuring rods" meaning, but an astronomer whose native language was not Arabic supposed that it meant "two forepaws" literally and invented an enlarged rampant Lion asterism centered on Leo and stretching over a quarter of the sky."
thanks, wikipedia! i can totally see how this asterism was created: the heads of gemini and the stars of canis minor form a significant section of the winter hexagon.