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Sky Chart

The Sun
Moon: First Quarter, Waxing
Moon: Full
Moon: Last Quarter, Waning
Moon: New
Earth (Alternative)


Ascending node
Descending node
δ Declination
α Right Ascension

symbol Double Star
symbol Variable Star
symbol Galaxy
symbol Globular Cluster
symbol Open Cluster
symbol Planetary Nebula
symbol Diffuse Nebula
symbol Quasar


Greek Alphabet

α Alpha
β Beta;
γ Gamma
δ Delta
ε Epsilon
ζ Zeta

η Eta
θ Theta
ι Iota
κ Kappa
λ Lambda
μ Mu

ν Nu
ξ Xi
ο Omicron
π Pi
ρ Rho
σ sSigma

τ Tau
υ Upsilon
φ Phi
χ Chi
ψ Psi
ω Omega


Maths & Science

λ Wavelength
π Parallax
Square Root

Cube Root
T is in years and R is in AU
r Radius
M Absolute Magnitude
m Apparent magnitude

v Velocity
H0 Hubble constant
D Distance
v Velocity
c Speed of light (300,000 km/s)

M Messier object, as in M31
d Distance
pc parsec
K Kelvin



List of all 88 modern constellations. Links point to Wikipedia entry. Abbreviations are frequently displayed on star maps. The origin refers to when the constellation was commonly assumed. 'A' refers to Ancient.

Constellation Abbreviations English
Andromeda AND Chained Lady
Antlia ANT Air Pump
Apus APS Bird of Paradise
Aquarius AQR Water Bearer
Aquila AQL Eagle
Ara ARA Altar
Aries ARI Ram
Auriga AUR Charioteer
Boötes BOO Herdsman
Caelum CAE Engraving Tool
Camelopardalis CAM Giraffe
Cancer CNC Crab
Canes Venatici CVN Hunting Dogs
Canis Major CMA Larger Dog
Canis Minor CMI Smaller Dog
Capricornus CAP Water Goat
Carina CAR Keel
Cassiopeia CAS Queen
Centaurus CEN Centaur
Cepheus CEP King
Cetus CET Whale/Sea Monster
Chamaeleon CHA Chameleon
Circinus CIR Compasses
Columba COL Dove
Coma Berenices COM Berenices Hair
Corona Australis CRA Southern Crown
Corona Borealis CRB Northern Crown
Corvus CRV Crow, Raven
Crater CRT Cup
Crux CRU Southern Cross
Cygnus CYG Swan
Delphinus DEL Dolphin
Dorado DOR Swordfish
Draco DRA Dragon
Equuleus EQL Little Horse
Eridanus ERI River
Fornax FOR Furnace
Gemini GEM Twins
Grus GRU Crane
Hercules HER Hero; Hercules
Horologium HOR Clock
Hydra HYA Water Serpent
Hydrus HYI Water Snake
Indus IND Indian
Lacerta LAC Lizard
Leo LEO Lion
Leo Minor LMI Smaller Lion
Lepus LEP Hare
Libra LIB Scales
Lupus LUP Wolf
Lynx LYN Lynx
Lyra LYR Lyre
Mensa MEN Table
Microscopium MIC Microscope
Monoceros MON Unicorn
Musca MUS Fly
Norma NOR Square
Octans OCT Octant
Ophiuchus OPH Serpent Bearer
Orion ORI Hunter; Orion
Pavo PAV Peacock
Pegasus PEG Winged Horse
Perseus PER Perseus the Hero
Phoenix PHE Phoenix
Pictor PIC Easel
Pisces PSC Fishes
Piscis Austrinus PSA Southern Fish
Puppis PUP Stern
Pyxis PYX Compass
Reticulum RET Net
Sagitta SGE Arrow
Sagittarius SGR Archer
Scorpius SCO Scorpion
Sculptor SCL Sculptor
Scutum SCT Shield
Serpens SER Serpent
Sextans SEX Sextant
Taurus TAU Bull
Telescopium TEL Telescope
Triangulum TRI Triangle
Triangulum Australe TRA Southern Triangle
Tucana TUC Toucan
Ursa Major UMA Greater Bear
Ursa Minor UMI Smaller Bear
Vela VEL Sails
Virgo VIR Maiden
Volans VOL Flying Fish
Vulpecula VUL Fox


Acronyms / Abbreviations

You may find some abbreviations used on other web sites you visit. These are some of the most common.

AU   Astronomical Unit
BAe   British Aerospace
BST   British Summer Time
CCD   Charge-Coupled Device
Dec   Declination
ESA   European Space Agency
GMT   Greenwich Mean Time
GPS   Global Positioning System
HR   Hertzsprung-Russell
HST   Hubble Space Telescope
JPL   Jet Propulsion Laboratory
KAO   Kuiper Airborne Observatory
KSC   Kennedy Space Center
LY   Light Year
M     Messier
NASA   National Aeronautics and Space Administration
RA   Right Ascension
RAS   Royal Astronomical Society
SCT   Schmidt-Cassegrain Telescope
SETI   Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence
SOHO   Solar Heliospheric Observatory
UTC   Coordinated Universal Time
VLA   Very Large Array
VLT   Very Large Telescope