The history of
of the Subject
Falls in Wales
NAMES OF ASTRONOMICAL OBJECTS
|Traditional name|| Direct translation
|Common modern Welsh name||Description||References|
| Caer Gwydion/ |
|Fort of Gwydion||Milky Way||Llwybr Llaethog||Disc of the Galaxy||[2,3]
| Bwa'r Gwynt/ |
Heol Y Gwynt/
Llwybr Y Gwynt
| Arch of the Wind/ |
Road of the Wind/
Path of the Wind
|Milky Way||Llwybr Llaethog||Disc of the Galaxy|||
|Y Ffordd Wen||The White Road||Milky Way||Llwybr Llaethog||Disc of the Galaxy|||
|Llun Y Llong||Image of the Ship||The Plough||Yr Aradr||Asterism||[4,5]|
|Y Llong Foel||The Bare Ship||The Plough||Yr Aradr||Asterism|||
|Saith Seren Y Gogledd||The Seven Stars of the North||The Plough||Yr Aradr||Asterism|||
|Y Sospan||The Saucepan||The Plough||Yr Aradr||Asterism|||
| Men Carl/ |
| Charles's Wain/ |
|The Plough||Yr Aradr||Asterism|||
|Jac a'i Wagen||Jack and his Wagon||The Plough||Yr Aradr||Asterism|| Mid Wales regional name|
|Yr Haeddel Fawr||The Great Plough Handle||The Plough||Yr Aradr||Asterism|||
|Yr Haeddel Fach||The Little Plough Handle||Ursa Minor||Ursa Minor||Constellation|||
| Caer Arianrod/ |
| The Fort of Arianrod/ |
Fort of Arianrhod
|Corona Borealis||Corona Borealis||Constellation||
|Y Twr Tewdws||The Thick Group||Pleiades||Pleiades||Open cluster||[8,11]|
|Y Saith Seren Siriol||The Seven Cheerful Stars||Pleiades||Pleiades||Open cluster|||
|Y Trypser||Pleiades||Pleiades||Open cluster|| South Wales regional term|
|Llathen Fair||Mary's Yard||Belt of Orion||Gwregys Orion||Three bright stars in a line||[9,10]|
|Llathen Teiliwr||The Tailor's Yard||Belt of Orion||Gwregys Orion||Three bright stars in a line|||
|Y Tri Brenin||The Three Kings||Belt of Orion||Gwregys Orion||Three bright stars in a line|||
|Y Groes Fendigaid||The Blessed Cross||Belt of Orion||Gwregys Orion||Three bright stars in a line|||
|Telyn Arthur||Arthur's Harp||Lyra||Lyra||Constellation|||
|Llys Dôn||The Court of Dôn||Cassiopeia||Cassiopeia||Constellation||[1,12]|
Some of these, such as Caer Arianrod, Telyn Arthur and Llys Dôn, are named after characters in the Mabinogi folk tales.
The Plough, the famous asterism (i.e. a group of prominent stars, not properly a constellation) in the constellation of Ursa Major has a number of traditional names. Yr Aradr ("The Plough") is a direct translations of the name common in English-speaking countries. The Plough has also been called Yr Haeddel Fawr ("The Great Plough Handle") and Ursa Minor Yr Haeddel Fach ("The Little Plough Handle"), which are somewhat different to the English equivalent. Men Carl (Charles's Wain or Charles's Wagon) is the Welsh equivalent of a name found commonly across European cultures, derived from Charlemagne's Wain after the Frankish king and first Holy Roman Emperor.  Jac a'i Wagen, interestingly, also has an association with a cart.
There are, however, some names particular to Wales.
 Robert Roberts, Daearyddiaeth, publ. Chester, 1816, page 68.
 G. R. Isaac, Llen Cymru, vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 12-20, 2002, who quotes evidence from 1547 (William Salesbury's dictionary) and the 17th century (manuscript by John Jones, Gellilyfdy).
 A. Breeze, Review of English Studies, vol. 45, no. 177, pp. 63-69, 1994, who quotes references in poetry from the 14th and 15th centuries, and in Salesbury's "A Dictionary in Englyshe and Welshe" of 1547.
 Y Brython, vol. 1, no. 13, p. 203, 17 Sep 1858, which refers to Donati's Comet close to Llun y Llong, which is also called Saith Seren y Gogledd.
 Y Gwyddoniadur Cymreig, ed. John Parry, publ. Thomas Gee, Denbigh, 1875, in the article "Arcturus". The article contains some factual errors, but the identification of Llun y Llong is sound.
 Robert Roberts, Daearyddiaeth, publ. Chester, 1816, pages 15 and 72.
 Robert Roberts, Daearyddiaeth, publ. Chester, 1816, page 69.
 Robert Roberts, Daearyddiaeth, publ. Chester, 1816, pages 16 and 74.
 Robert Roberts, Daearyddiaeth, publ. Chester, 1816, page 16.
 Robert Parry, (Robyn Ddu Eryri), Teithiau a Barddoniaeth Robyn Ddu Eryri, publ. H. Huphreys, Caernarfon, 1857, page 80.
 W. O. Pughe, A Dictionary of the Welsh Language Explained in English, volume 2, second edition, publ. Thomas Gee, Denbigh, 1832 (under the definition of "twr"), who quotes Dafydd ap Edmwnd ("Tair tid fal y twr tewdws", "Three chains like the Pleiades").
 B. Griffiths & D. G. Jones, The Welsh Academy English-Welsh Dictionary, publ. University of Wales Press, Cardiff, 1995.
 R. H. Allen, Star Names: Their Lore and Meaning, publ. Dover Publications, New York, 1963 (a reprint of Star-Names and Their Meanings, publ. G. E. Stechert, 1899).
The International Astronomical Union is the body responsible for assigning formal names to astronomical objects. Historically names were taken from classical Latin and Greek mythology. As larger numbers of astronomical objects have been discovered and mapped, names have been taken from a much more diverse range of the world's cultures. For the record, names assoicated with Wales are mentioned here.
Some craters on the Moon have been named after Welsh scientists.
The crater Mee is named after Arthur Mee (1860-1926), the amateur astronomer, journalist, author, historian and educator from Cardiff. The crater lies on the southern part of the lunar Near Side, south of the Mare Humorum: it is a relatively large crater with disintegrated walls.
The crater Roberts is named after Isaac Roberts (1829-1904), pioneer astrophotographer (the crater actually honours both Isaac Roberts and Alexander W. Roberts, a South African astronomer, 1857-1938): it is situated on the Far Side of the Moon, close to the lunar North Pole.
The crater Wallace is named after Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1913), the biologist and independent discoverer of the theory of evolution. It is found in the Mare Imbrium lava plain: the crater itself has been flooded with lava and only the top of the crater walls protrude above the Moon's surface.
The crater Wilkins is named after Hugh Percy Wilkins (1896-1960), lunar observer and cartographer. The crater lies in the southern uplands of the Near Side.
A large number of features have been discovered on the surface of Venus through the use of radar mapping by spacecraft that have been put into orbit about about the planet. Where features have been named after people, these people have all been women in recognition of the female character of the goddess Venus in Roman mythology.
The crater on Venus called Rhys is named after the writer Jean Rhys (1894-1979), author of a number of books including The Wide Sargasso Sea.
A number of women's first names have been used for craters, taken from a wide range of countries and cultures. Among these is the crater Megan.
Arianrod Fossae is named after Arianrhod from the Mabinogi folk tales.
A number of features on Mars have been named after the words for Mars in various languages. These include the valley known as Mawrth Vallis.
There are craters on Mars named after Porth in the Rhondda and after Sarn.
There are areas on Europa, one of the Galilean satellites of Jupiter, called Dyfed Regio and Powys Regio: these have been named after the ancient kingdoms of Dyfed and Powys, not the more recent local government areas.
Features on Europa named after mythological characters include Amaethon, Gwern, Llyr, Pryderi, Pwyll, Rhiannon, Taliesin and Tegid. A feature on Callisto has been named Bran.
Minor planet 3634 Iwan is named after Iwan Williams, astronomer and specialist on small bodies in the Solar System.
Minor planet 1827 Atkinson is named after Robert Atkinson (1898-1982), the astronomer from Rhaeadr.
Bryn Jones wishes to thank Rhys Morris for providing useful information about the naming of astronomical bodies.
This page was created and is maintained by Bryn Jones. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org .
WWW home page: http://www.jonesbryn.plus.com/ .
This page was first created in January 2000 (at a different address).
It was last modified on 3rd March, 2009.
URL of this page: http://www.jonesbryn.plus.com/wastronhist/namesobjects.html .
This page replaced in August 2008 the old page http://brynjones.members.beeb.net/wastronhist/namesobjects.html . An archived copy of the old page is available here.