asterism

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asterism

A prominent grouping of stars forming a distinctive shape but not a complete or recognized constellation. The Plough is an asterism within the constellation Ursa Major. Other examples of asterisms are the Sickle in Leo, the False Cross and the Summer Triangle.

asterism

[′as·tə‚riz·əm]
(astronomy)
A constellation or small group of stars.
(optics)
A starlike optical phenomenon seen in gemstones called star stones; due to reflection of light by lustrous inclusions reduced to sharp lines of light by a domed cabochon style of cutting.
(spectroscopy)
A star-shaped pattern sometimes seen in x-ray spectrophotographs.