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"Flowery" Color Terms for Double Star Descriptions

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#1 jrbarnett

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 05:26 PM

You observe Albireo.

You could report "The primary was yellow and the secondary was blue." Ho-hum.

You could jazz it up a bit and say "The primary was a brilliant yellow and the secondary a pale, lovely blue." Ookay.

Or you could use your words and really lay it on thick, and opine "The primary was a lustrous citrine with a companion of blazing aquamarine." Yee-haw! That's the spirit!

Back in the day when the Smyths and Webbs of the world were describing the doubles they'd resolved, they had a lot of time on their hands and large, personal libraries loaded with reference tomes. One can imagine a class A-1 toff like Smythy saying to himself "Hrmph, 'yellow and blue' simply won't do. I am a learned man. I must use terms that only other learned gentle-folk will understand. *sniff*. Allow me to consult my dictonary...ah, yes, here we are. 'A glittering flavous primary attended by a dear wee companion of palest indigo'. There, now that's a proper description."

Here are some fun color terms to play with when compiling your own observing notes for double stars.

“Flowery” Color Vocabulary for Double Star Aficionados

Reds:

Red
Ruddy
Rosy
Rose
Cardinal
Carmine
Claret
Crimson
Copper
Garnet
Rubicund
Ruby
Salmon
Scarlet
Vermillion

Blues:

Azure
Aquamarine
Cerulean
Cobalt
Indigo
Sapphire
Turquoise

Yellows:

Amber
Aureate
Canary
Blonde
Citrine
Citron
Flavous
Fulvous
Gold
Honey
Lemon
Primrose
Sallow
Straw
Tawny

Orange:

Apricot
Coral
Peach
Tangerine
Titian

White:

Alabaster
Ashen
Blanched
Chalk
Hoary
Ivory
Milky
Pearly
Silver
Snow
Waxen

So the next time you report on a double star observation here on CN, we expect it to be luscious and succulent with dripping color terminology. :grin:

I'm sure there are many more color terms that could be added to the above sampling.

Enjoy.

- Jim

#2 fred1871

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 06:25 PM

A wonderful list of colour terms, Jim. They're certainly beyond my ability to discern as separate colour tones. :confused:

But, please, please, could we have the correct spelling for Albireo - not "Alberio", which sounds like an invitation to Oktoberfest. Yes, I know, it depends on one's accent... and some folk try to spell the way they happen to speak, imagining words to all have phonetic spelling.

And I suspect poor old Smyth, with his amazing colour vocabulary, far more extravagant than Webb's, was a chap who saw himself as "learned", not "leaned". :grin:

You're quite right of course - we must not use such flowery language in the grimly practical and down-to-earth 21st century. Colour (or color) me plain. And I'll see stars that way too. :lol:

By the way - "cirtine"??? - I'm not certain that even Smyth would use such a term (unless you've found him doing so...)

#3 jrbarnett

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 08:13 PM

Dude, I type fast and am just too lazy to spell check. :grin:

- Jim

#4 Ed Wiley

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 09:07 PM

Double star folks should take lessons from the wine oenophiles if they want to get "flowery." :grin:

Ed

#5 Bonco

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 09:41 PM

Funny post...all good humor,(humour?)has an element of truth in it.
Bill

#6 Asbytec

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 10:31 PM

Jim's list is too short and he left out lilac.

http://en.wikipedia..../List_of_colors

#7 mountain monk

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 11:26 PM

Nice list, but it presumes the perceptual ability to make the relevant distinctions. Put a (white) egg next to a porcelain bowl next to a page from an open book all on a linen table cloth. Try to paint them. And what color is the open sea off Point Reyes in sunlight in afternoon in late October? Use a pure hue of any of the blues in your list and you will fail miserably--as I did only two weeks ago. Then read Color and Culture by John Gage (U of C Press). Then despair. Thoreau noted that Americans have/had a particularly limited ability to discern and describe color. And American astronomers...? Nice list though, and a great subject.

Dark skies.

Jack Turner

#8 Rich (RLTYS)

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 06:39 AM

Hay, I like the list and will try to use it. :rainbow:

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#9 Man in a Tub

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 03:20 AM

Here's a link to a list of "obscure colour terms" with just a wee bit of duplication of the list above.

The author's disclaimer at the top is a gem: "Don't worry if the colours (or colors) in your universe don't match up with the definitions I've given for these words, though - I've been known to have skewed perceptions of reality ..."

http://phrontistery.info/colours.html

#10 jrbarnett

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 10:40 AM

Todd, that is awesome!

I'm sorting through a semi-permanent setup on my deck here at home and plan on multitudes of double star observations. "I shall endeavour to utilise these vainglorious and gaudy hue delineations."

:grin:

- Jim

#11 Asbytec

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 10:43 AM

"I do"

I like them...LOL

#12 drollere

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 01:02 PM

there is a bit of "color history" on this topic that is worth knowing.

color terms, as a basic language tool, start from humble beginnings. most primitive cultures have only a handful of terms, which are gradually expanded. (i've written a detailed account HERE.)

"flowery" color terms are actually a product of the late 18th and 19th centuries, in other words, of the industrial revolution. and they are closely associated with the commercial use of colors: dye and paint technology became far more productive during that period, due to advances in basic and industrial chemistry. many inorganic pigments still used today, such as viridian, ultramarine, cobalt blue, iron oxides, manganese violet, etc., etc., were developed in the early 19th century.

industry created variety, and commerce demanded labeling, and the result was a huge increase in the number of color terms. and also an increase in the acceptance of their use to discriminate color differences. this can be traced from a.g. werner's Nomenclature of Colors (1774) through robert ridgeway's Color Standards and Color Nomenclature (1912). references such as these provided a series of hand painted colored patches as a visual standard for each color, with the color's name and, in earlier versions, a list of flowers, insects or minerals that exemplified the color in nature. similar tools are still used today to sort or grade products in horticulture, agriculture and food processing.

however color science has moved on since then, and industrial colors are now given dull and pedantic numerical designations, either as paint or ink combinations (e.g., in the pantone system) or as coordinates in a color space (the Munsell color system or the CIECAM color model). these have the same romance and zing as the HIP or HP numbers assigned to stars.

as i posted elsewhere, brightness, chroma and hue are still the fundamental attributes of color, and are the three most important color attributes to communicate accurately and reliably. there is great fun and poetry in a personal color language, but poetry usually allows the reader to provide his own interpretation.

#13 jrbarnett

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 04:40 PM

Hold up there, MacEvoy...are you sayin' that what I'm callin' "aquamarine", ain't? :grin:

- Jim

#14 rookie

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 12:19 AM

Here's a link to a list of "obscure colour terms" with just a wee bit of duplication of the list above.

The author's disclaimer at the top is a gem: "Don't worry if the colours (or colors) in your universe don't match up with the definitions I've given for these words, though - I've been known to have skewed perceptions of reality ..."

http://phrontistery.info/colours.html

Love the list Todd, I'm printing it up and will keep it in my log book for observation reports.
Fun topic Jim. Your own creative list is great too. Thanks

#15 Rich (RLTYS)

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 12:05 PM

Here's a link to a list of "obscure colour terms" with just a wee bit of duplication of the list above.

The author's disclaimer at the top is a gem: "Don't worry if the colours (or colors) in your universe don't match up with the definitions I've given for these words, though - I've been known to have skewed perceptions of reality ..."

http://phrontistery.info/colours.html


That is one cool list unfortunetly I can't even begin to pronouce most of those names. :crazy: ;)

Rich (RLTYS)

#16 MikeMcCaskey

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 11:24 AM

Double star folks should take lessons from the wine oenophiles if they want to get "flowery." :grin:

Ed


From the flowery words it kinda makes you wonder if the two activities haven't gotten a little blurry............... :grin:

#17 astroneil

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 12:01 PM

Language is a precious and enriching manifestation of the human mind.

To suggest a moratorium on colour descriptions fills me we absolute dread.

....just another blind step towards the Universal.

#18 nytecam

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 05:22 PM

Dude, I type fast and am just too lazy to spell check. :grin: - Jim

Jim - your sounding a bit Smythy to me and I'd hope we've moved on from those flowery time. Anyway, when you've done a bit of spectroscopy, all these colour description seem nonsence :p

#19 Asbytec

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 09:02 PM

Language is a precious and enriching manifestation of the human mind.

To suggest a moratorium on colour descriptions fills me we absolute dread.

....just another blind step towards the Universal.


Agreed. One can imagine human communication never evolving beyond the primitive, "Ug!"

#20 Rich (RLTYS)

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 07:13 AM

Jim - your sounding a bit Smythy to me and I'd hope we've moved on from those flowery time. Anyway, when you've done a bit of spectroscopy, all these colour description seem nonsence :p


Personally I just can't agree with you. :rainbow:

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#21 jrbarnett

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 01:59 PM

Ah, but I'm a telescoper, not a spectroscoper, so for me the color terms are sensical and sensible. Should I leave telescoping in favor of spectroscoping, I will be sure to abandon color adjectives. :grin:

- Jim

#22 rookie

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 11:20 PM

Anyway, when you've done a bit of spectroscopy, all these colour description seem nonsence :p

Newton took the spectrum, curved it into a color wheel, and gave us endless possiblities. It's not eggplant, it's aubergine. :rainbow:

#23 Asbytec

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 11:31 PM

Well, in the spectrum, there is no paint can shaker mixing flowery colors, say blue-white with near infra red. But, that doesn't mean we can use them visually. If it looks aubergine, well it looks aubergine. Now, find it's frequency. ;)

#24 VanJan

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 05:03 AM

In due consideration of the rather shady nuances of this thread ;), I suppose I would not be stretching the lexiconical spectrum too far by offering an updated English interpretation of Struve's color description of Zeta B Orionis - "olivaceasubrubicunda" - as an "embarrassed aperture envy" hue. :brick:

#25 rookie

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 06:47 PM

:funny: :roflmao: :roflmao: :roflmao:






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