Few days back, the Pleiades, the Sun and the Moon were forming an almost perfect equilateral triangle.

Is there a term that describes such momentary geometrical patterns? Asterism and conjunction are close, but not exactly applicable here.


1 Answer 1


Momentary events in general (comets, supernovae, solar flares, etc.) can be lumped under the general heading of "transient phenomena". 'Transient asterisms' may be a candidate term for the concept you are describing.

Then again, we now know that on a large enough time scale all asterisms are eventually transient in nature. So one might justifiably take the point of view that the adjective "transient" is redundant. So perhaps calling the patterns you describe simply as "asterisms" is not as bad of a candidate term as you might suspect.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ There's transient and then there's transient. Some of stars we see may be moving 100s of km/s with regard to our solar system. But they are so distant the angular velocity is small. In contrast the sun moves about a degree per day against the celestial sphere and the moon about 12 degrees. $\endgroup$
    – HopDavid
    Jun 1, 2014 at 15:49

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .