A couple weeks ago I wrote about how H. A. Rey introduced a new way of looking at the constellations, making them look more like their names. That post used Leo as an example. This post looks at Boötes (The Herdsman) .
Here is the constellation using the connections indicated in the IAU star chart.
Here is the constellation using the connections drawn in Rey’s book .
Rey’s version adds two stars, highlighted in red, but mostly connects the same stars in a different way. I suppose the herdsman is standing in the IAU version; it’s hard to tell. In Rey’s version, the huntsman is clearly seated and smoking a pipe. This is easier to see if we rotate the image a bit.
Here’s a comparison of the two interpretations side-by-side.
Here is the Python code that produced the two images. It’s a little cleaner than the code in the earlier post, and it draws larger dots to represent brighter stars.
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt # data from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_stars_in_Bo%C3%B6tes α = (14 + 16/60, 19 + 11/60, 0.0) β = (15 + 2/60, 40 + 23/60, 3.5) γ = (14 + 32/60, 38 + 18/60, 3.0) δ = (15 + 16/60, 33 + 19/60, 3.5) ε = (14 + 45/60, 27 + 4/60, 2.3) ζ = (14 + 41/60, 13 + 44/60, 3.8) η = (13 + 55/60, 18 + 24/60, 4.5) θ = (14 + 25/60, 51 + 51/60, 4.0) κ = (14 + 13/60, 51 + 47/60, 4.5) λ = (14 + 16/60, 46 + 5/60, 4.2) μ = (15 + 24/60, 37 + 23/60, 4.3) υ = (13 + 49/60, 15 + 48/60, 4.0) τ = (13 + 47/60, 17 + 27/60, 4.5) ρ = (14 + 32/60, 30 + 22/60, 3.6) k = -15 # reverse and scale horizontal axis def plot_star(s, m): plt.plot(k*s, s, m, markersize=14-2.2*s) def join(s0, s1, m='ko'): plot_star(s0, m) plot_star(s1, m) plt.plot([k*s0, k*s1], [s0, s1], 'b-') def draw_iau(): join(α, η) join(η, τ) join(α, ζ) join(α, ϵ) join(ϵ, δ) join(δ, β) join(β, γ) join(γ, λ) join(λ, θ) join(θ, κ) join(κ, λ) join(γ, ρ) join(ρ, α) def draw_rey(): join(α, η) join(η, υ) join(υ, τ) join(α, ζ) join(α, ϵ) join(ζ, ϵ) join(ϵ, δ) join(δ, β) join(δ, μ) join(μ, β) join(β, γ) join(γ, λ) join(λ, θ) join(θ, κ) join(κ, λ) join(γ, ρ) join(ρ, ϵ) plot_star(μ, 'r*') plot_star(υ, 'r*') return draw_iau() plt.gca().set_aspect('equal') plt.axis('off') plt.savefig("bootes_iau.png") plt.close() draw_rey() plt.gca().set_aspect('equal') plt.axis('off') plt.savefig("bootes_rey.png") plt.close()
 The diaeresis over the second ‘o’ in Boötes means the two vowels are to be pronounced separately: bo-OH-tes. You may have seen the same pattern in Laocoön or oogenesis. The latter is written without a diaresis now, but I bet authors used to write it with a diaeresis on the second ‘o’.
 H. A. Rey. The Stars: A New Way to See Them, Second Edition.
2 thoughts on “Connecting the dots differently”
Talking about various character accents gives me diaresis. I nit-picked about it all my life, so I’ll probably diacritic.
FWIW, I loved H.A. Rey’s diagram of the 3-d sphere clearly showing the celestial equator, ecliptic, north star, etc. Mindblowing at the time.