Variable Star Names For Fun

Here's a bit of humor that comes up occasionally on variable star astronomy email lists I subscribe to.

Constellation names are abbreviated to three letter designations most of you are familiar with. Andromeda= AND, Draco=DRA, Ursa Major= UMa and so on. When combined with the lettered names of variable stars, sometimes they can be interpreted as other words or phrases. For example S Andromedae is abbreviated as S AND, which of course looks like "sand".

Some of these are good, some are funny, some are a stretch and some of these are even mine! The rest have been collected (stolen, borrowed, nicked) over time and since there's nothing better to do with them, here they are presented for your amusement. Let's begin.

Or should I say, IM OPH.

T OPH- golf anyone?
R UMa - gossip
T UMa - unfortunate growth
RU OPH - leaving already?
W AND - a stick
AB CAS- something you count with
PU PER - party spoiler
U BOO - you didn't like the play
U HOR- not a nice thing to say to a lady
Y TRI - give up before starting
S LAC - not as tight as it could be
HU VIR - cleans the carpet
T AUR- and feather
ST AUR- what's that bright thing in the sky?
Z AUR- leader of Russia
S PIC - and span
Y MON - Jamaican question
S CAM - wanna buy some swampland?
ST ARI - clear night sky
S HOR- where the sea meets the land
T HOR- god of thunder
W HOR- red light district worker
IN TEL - information
RS TAU - make as was
W IND - in your hair
TU LUP- spring flower
S NOR - turn over
SU SEX - the county west of Kent
R OCT - it was very good
S OCT - it was very bad
ST OCT- the shelves are full
PU PUP - needs house training
Y SEX - let's keep it platonic
ZZ SEX - sorry, I fell asleep
RU HER - or are you someone else?
FU MON - Jamaican way of saying they're displeased with someone
RU TAU - network equipment
SU TAU - suitor
TU TAU - teacher
S ORI- I didn't mean it
ST ORI- that's mine, and I'm sticking to it
W ORI- who, me, worry?
AW VUL - aren't puns awful?
R APS- he likes to sing and rhyme
S APS- stuff from trees
T APS- played at military funerals
Y APS- talks a lot
Z APS- Don't taze me, bro!
S DOR- where you buy things
V ERI- what variable stars do
TU FOR- one, what a deal!
NO SER- I didn't do it
U SER- error
LO SER- you suck
S UMi- if you think you have a case
Y UMi- mmm, tastes good
RY VOL- fighting over the same girl
SU PER- it's a bird, it's a plane, no it's...
Y PER- slow, fast or intermittent
HY Dra - This star belongs to another constellation!
eta Gem- well, spit it out, then. It might be worth something!
RU Peg- if not, who RU?
S TUC - can't think of any more.
HO Tel- with room service, please
RU Lupi- U must be if you've read this far!

If you can think of any, I'll add them to the list!


Kate said...

You forgot SU Per & Y Per. I've always thought that U Lac was short on comp stars ...

Mike Simonsen said...

Thanks, Kate. I'll keep adding the ones people suggest.

RevAaron said...

I can't compete with those :) ...

but whenever an Index Catalogue object pops up on one of my observing lists, I usually refer to it as an I don't C object when I have trouble finding it. Have yet to have someone laugh at that yet :)

Kate said...

Another one, but you have to pronounce the letters ... RU Peg(?). Or when you are ready to add that one, UR Cet.

Kate said...

eta Gem ... well, spit it out, then. It might be worth something!

Mike Simonsen said...

I don't think UR is a valid combination. The double U's start with UU, don't they?

Anonymous said...

I used to know a guy whose first name was Chuma, and I remember him every time I look at CH Ursae Majoris.