Fr.: designation de Bayer
A stellar designation system in which a specific star is identified by a Greek letter, followed by the genitive form of its hosting → constellation's Latin name. For example, Alpha Eridani, Delta Cephei, Lambda Bootis. The Greek alphabet has only 24 letters. In case a single constellation contained a larger number of stars, Bayer amended with Latin letters: upper case A, followed by lower case b through z (omitting j and v), for a total of another 24 letters. Bayer did not go beyond z, but later astronomers added more designations using both upper and lower case Latin letters, the upper case letters following the lower case ones in general. Examples include, for Vela: a Vel (Velorum), z Vel, A Vel, Q Vel; for Scorpius: d Sco (Scorpii), A Sco; for Leo: b Leo (Leonis), o Leo, A Leo, → c Orionis. Compare with the → Flamsteed designation.
First introduced by Johann Bayer (1572-1625) in his atlas Uranometria, published in 1603 at Augsburg, Germany; → designation.