Alternate Names Of Eta Carinae


A classic form of astronomical embarrassment is to be caught unwittingly analyzing the same star twice with different names, as Chandrasekhar once did with Sirius! Besides, occasionally one needs to look up an object in old books or unfamiliar catalogs. Therefore, here we list Eta's designations used in various places.

Caveat: Large standard catalogs often contain untrustworthy information about this object, because its characteristics are ill-suited to mass cataloging. The spectrum is unclassifiable by normal standards, bright ejecta make its position and brightness hard to measure, etc.

Alterate Names:
  • Eta Argus, Eta Navis, Eta Roburis (old constellation names; all three were used during 19th C).
  • HR 4210 (Yale Bright Star Catalog; HR originally meant "Harvard revised photometry").
  • HD 93308 (Henry Draper Catalog of spectral types, Harvard Annals early 20th C).
  • SAO 238429 (Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory positional catalog, 1960s).
  • CPD -59 2620 (Cape Photographic Durchmusterung, early 20th C).
  • IRAS 10431-5925 (InfraRed Astronomical Satellite survey, 1980s).
  • PPM 339408 (A fairly modern positional catalog).
  • TYC 8626-2809-1 (Tycho positional catalog (Hipparcos/Tycho)).
  • Hen 3-481 (Henize, emission-line objects).
More designations can be found at the Simbad site.

Pronunciation of Eta "Carinae"


aay'-tah kah-rye'-nee Approximately rhymes with "ate a high knee".

(In lieu of a classical proper name like Sirius or Vega, some of us have fallen into the habit of saying just "Eta," even if the IAU complains. We wouldn't exercise such familiarity with, say, Eta Aquilae or Eta CMa, but this case is honestly special. Surely this Mad Emperor of the Visible Stars deserves a short familiar name!)