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My definition of traditional name is that name that appears in the stellar catalogs made in classical antiquity by Greeks and Romans and which were later translated and compiled by the Arabs to be later used again by Europeans from the Renaissance. I do not look for traditional Chinese or Mayan names, for example.

Most stars visible without a telescope were given names in Antiquity. These Greek or Babylonian names were transmitted and modified during the Middle Ages by Arabian compilers and many of them are still popular, such as Sirius or Vega.

Other names are longer and more "exotic", like Betelgeuse. I am thinking, for example, of really long and exotic names like Zubenelgenubi (Alpha Librae) or Zubeneschamali (β Librae). Are there any stars whose "ancient" or "medieval" name are longer?

Here is a list of arabian star names, later modified by europeans, but it may be incomplete, because greek catalogues included about 1.000 stars and this list only includes 200.

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    $\begingroup$ Just as a point of reference, I looked up Stellarium's sky cultures, and the longest name I found (which happens to be "Arabic") was the 42-character "The announcer of the southern Shinning one", but that's just an Anglicization, so it doesn't really count, sorry. $\endgroup$ – user21 Aug 2 '17 at 13:18
  • $\begingroup$ @barrycarter That's β Canis Majoris, the star number 30324 in the HIP catallogue. It's traditional name is Murzim. Thanks for trying, anyway... ;) $\endgroup$ – Ginasius Aug 2 '17 at 14:31
  • $\begingroup$ Can you clarify. Do you mean the longest traditional name, or the longest name in Arabic, or in arabic transliteration. How will you use this answer? $\endgroup$ – James K Aug 3 '17 at 19:17
  • $\begingroup$ I mean the longest name in a star catallogue used by western astronomers since Renaissance. Most of these names are arabic in origin, but its transliterations are latin. $\endgroup$ – Ginasius Aug 4 '17 at 14:06
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According to Google, the longest name for any star is “Shurnarkabtishashutu”, the Arabic for “under the southern horn of the bull”. The star is known as Zeta Tauri. You could also scroll thru Wikipedia's list of star names for different countries.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the answer, but it's a babilonic word, not arabic. And I need a better source than google, because I had found that name before and I seriously doubt that such name was really used in any star catallogue from the greeks or the arabians. If that name was only used by the babylonians and later lost it would not be "traditional" but "extint". I shall edit my question to clarify this. $\endgroup$ – Ginasius Aug 2 '17 at 12:54
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    $\begingroup$ I looked it up on Wikipedia and it shows it as Zeta Tauri. So you're right it may be extinct. $\endgroup$ – Natsfan Aug 2 '17 at 15:02
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    $\begingroup$ The actual source is: pitara.com/fun-stuff-for-kids/did-you-know/… $\endgroup$ – Natsfan Aug 4 '17 at 23:18
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the source but that is obviously an erroneous one. You do not need to know much Arabic to realize that this phrase is not Arabic, but Babylonic. Those words were probably rediscovered through archeology. $\endgroup$ – Ginasius Aug 4 '17 at 23:30

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