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History of Variable Star Nomenclature

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Dorritt Hoffleit

Yale University, New Haven, CT 06511


Received 1 November 1987




This paper seeks to elucidate when and where between 1844 and 1950 Argelander first proposed his system of variable star nomenclature. After the letters R through Z were nearly exhausted in a few constellations, numerous further schemes were suggested. Here only the ones accepted, first by the Astronomische Gesellschaft and later by the International Astronomical Union, are discussed. Examples of possible confusions between the Argelander designations and the same names earlier assigned to other stars, especially by Lacaille in 1763, not previously cited elsewhere, are given.


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