Volans

noun

Vo·​lans ˈvō-ˌlanz How to pronounce Volans (audio)
astronomy
: a southern constellation that is visible between the constellation of Carina and the southern celestial pole and that is represented by the figure of a flying fish
Pieter Dirckszoon Keyzer and Frederick de Houtman, a pair of 16th-century Dutch navigators, charted the southern sky. Twelve of the new star patterns they devised eventually became part of the official count. These late-model constellations symbolized exotic or legendary creatures of southern lands and seas—such as Grus (the Crane), Pavo (the Peacock), Tucana (the Toucan), and Volans (the Flying Fish)—and so heralded the Golden Age of Exploration while maintaining the tradition of celestial birds and beasts inherited from the Greeks.E. C. Krupp, Sky And Telescope, May 2004

Word History

First Known Use

1890, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Volans was in 1890

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Cite this Entry

“Volans.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Volans. Accessed 14 Jun. 2024.

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