• (British) IPA: /ˈastəɹɪzəm/

asterism (plural asterisms)

  1. (constellation) An unofficial constellation (small group of stars that forms a visible pattern).
    The Big Dipper, Summer Triangle, and Orion's Belt are asterisms.
    • 1825, Geo G. Carey, Astronomy, as it is known at the present day, London, p. 66 f.:
      Of the constellations, or asterisms. [...] It therefore became necessary to adopt a more general method of distinguishing them. This was accomplished by portioning out the heavens into imaginary figures, of men, birds, fishes, &c. called Constellations or Asterisms.
  2. A rarely used typographical symbol (⁂, three asterisks arranged in a triangle), used to call attention to a passage or to separate subchapters in a book.
  3. (mineralogy) A star-shaped figure exhibited by some crystals by reflected light (as in a star sapphire) or by transmitted light (as in some mica).
Related terms Translations Translations
  • Italian: asterismo
  • Portuguese: asterismo
  • Russian: астери́зм
  • French: astérisme
  • German: Asterism
  • Italian: asterismo
  • Russian: астери́зм
  • Spanish: asterismo

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