Saturday, November 14, 2009
Procyon and Names
Like Tataouine (which can be pronounced "Tatooine"). That's a word that's fairly well-known as the name of Luke Skywalker's home in the Star Wars movies. It's also the name of a city and a region in northern Tunisia.
I was looking up names for Procyon (Alpha Canis Minor) this evening, and came up with this:
R. H. Allen said that "Euphratean scholars" called Procyon "...Kakkab Paldara, Pallika, or Palura...." ("The Brightest Stars: Discovering the Universe Through the Sky's Most Brilliant Stars," Fred Schaaf, p. 167) Allen's "Euphratean scholars" might have been referring to Babylonian names of Procyon. Or, the Kakkab Paldara/Pallika/Palura might be one of those loose connections in late-19th and early-20th century scholarship that's been corrected since.
In any event, "Pallika" and "Palura" - and "Kakkab Paldera" are fairly cool-sounding names.
Palura is also the name that somebody named Walker gave to a genus of moth in 1861. (The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London)
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