In 1603 the astronomer Johann Bayer used Greek letters to code the stars in his star map Uranometer. Generally the Greek letter (Alpha) was designated for the brightest star in the constellation. The second brightest star of the constellation was named (Beta) and so on throught the Greek alphabet.
Later the English astronomer John Flamsteed used numbers for his star catalogs. The stars are number from the west to east in each constellation without regard to the star's brightness.Lacerta constellation is a example showing some of the Flamsteed numbers.
Star names , Greek letters and numbers codes are commonly used today on star maps.
© 1998-2003 David Haworth