One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A prominent pattern or group of stars that is smaller than a constellation.
- ‘Cygnus - the Swan - is a cluster of stars, or asterism, easily visible in the summer skies.’
- ‘The chart is written on paper - a Chinese invention - and is a representation of the complete sky with some 1,585 stars grouped into 257 clusters or ‘asterisms’.’
- ‘Pisces is a curious star group; the stars are dim, scattered, and don't form a distinctive asterism.’
- ‘They're located about 15° west-northwest of the bright red star Aldebaran, which in turn is at the end of one of the arms of a V-shaped asterism, the Hyades open cluster, which points southwest.’
- ‘Orion and the Great Bear are two of the most prominent asterisms visible from the northern hemisphere.’
- ‘Orion contains an asterism or well-known star pattern called the ‘saucepan’ or ‘iron pot’.’
- ‘If the favourable asterism is in its ascendancy and if it alone exerts an influence over the new-born, then its good influence will increase.’
2A group of three asterisks (⁂) drawing attention to a piece of text.
Late 16th century: from Greek asterismos, from astēr ‘star’.
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