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    Re: Obscure Nautical Almanac star
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2020 Dec 28, 09:59 -0800

    Rob van Gent, you wrote:
    "η Argûs?
    This star, now better known as Eta Carinae, indeed has no Hipparcos number but it does have a Tycho number (8626-2809-1) and was particularly bright in the 1840s."

    Yes, indeed! Eta Argus or Eta Carinae, which was one of the brightest stars in the sky from 1837 until about 1857. 

    Even in the early 20th century, the nautical almanacs frequently listed all those stars now split up in Vela, Puppis, and Carina as members of the constellation Argo (or Argo Navis). Eta Argus was around magnitude 7 or 8, useless for navigation, when it was listed in these almanacs. That's navigation nostalgia at work! It's slowly rising in brightness in recent years, and, who knows, maybe it will have another "Great Eruption" or even "go supernova" as often suggested.

    Rob, do you have any idea why the genitive Argûs has a circumflex over the "u"? Is (was) this a styling in "Modern Latin", too, or is it just a peculiar quirk in the typography for this defunct constellation? I haven't found any clues.

    Frank Reed

       
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