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The "Summer Triangle", an asterism easily seen overhead during clear summer nights (in the northern hemisphere).
An asterism (mineralogy)


From Ancient Greek ἀστερισμός ‎(asterismós, group of stars), from ἀστήρ ‎(astḗr, star).



asterism ‎(plural asterisms)

  1. (astronomy) A constellation.
    • 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.
    • 2007, Matilde Battistini and Rosanna M. Giammanco Frongia (translation from Italian into English), Astrology, Magic, and Alchemy in Art, p. 60:
      Like Pisces and Capricorn, Aquarius is located in that part of the sky known as "Astral Sea," a region inhabited by water asterisms such as Eridanus, Cetus (the Whale), and the Dolphin.
  2. (astronomy) A small group of stars that forms a visible pattern but is not an official constellation.
    The Big Dipper, Summer Triangle, and Orion's Belt are asterisms.
  3. 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.
  4. (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).


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