Planet Earth
International Astronomical Union WGSN

IAU: Corona Borealis

Profile / Characteristics

English translationLatin declination and pronunciationsSize/ °²# stars
the Northern CrownCorona Borealis – cuh-ROE-nuh bor-ee-AL-iss3
Coronae Borealis – cuh-ROE-nee bor-ee-AL-iss3

Ancient Globes

Farnese Globe

Kugel Globe

Mainz Globe

Ancient Lore & Meaning


[71] Here too that Crown [Corona], which glorious Dionysus set to be memorial of the dead Ariadne, wheels beneath the back of the toil-spent Phantom. [74] To the Phantom’s back the Crown is near, but by his head mark near at hand the head of Ophiuchus [88] Toward the Crown leans the Serpent’s jaw, [570?] The Corwn sets and the Southern Fish as far as its back. Half the setting Crown is visible in the sky but half already sinks beneath the verge. [620?] Half the Crown and the tip of the Centaur’s tail are upraised with the rising Claws [660?] but other signs in the East the vault of heaven brings from below, the remaining half of the Crown and the tail of the Hydra,

English translation by Douglas Kidd (1997).
Aratus: Phaenomena, Cambridge Classical Texts and Commentaries, Series Number 34

Online available: translation by Mair (1921) 


it’s Ariadne’s bridal wreath. From Crete: it was made by Hephaistos from fire red gold and jewels from India which made it so bright that Theseus was guided by its shine.

French translation by:
Jordi Pàmias i Massana and Arnaud Zucker (2013). Ératosthènes de Cyrène – Catastérismes, Les Belles Lettres, Paris

English version in:
Robin Hard (2015): Eratosthenes and Hyginus Constellation Myths with Aratus’s Phaenomena, Oxford World’s Classics

Early Modern Interpretation


As one of their first tasks in the 1920s, the newly founded International Astronomical Union (IAU) established constellation standards. The Belgian astronomer Eugène Delporte was assigned to the task to define borders of constellations parallel to lines of declination and right ascension. They were accepted by the General Assembly in 1928. The standardized names and abbreviations had already been accepted in 1922 and 1925.  

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