Definitions

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A pale star varying in magnitude from 2.3 to 4.0 in a period of 2.89 days; β Persei.
  • n. A pale star varying in magnitude from 2.3 to 4.0 in a period of 2.89 days; β Persei.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the second brightest star in Perseus; the first known eclipsing binary
  • n. (from a combination of ALGOrithmic and Language); a programming language used to express computer programs as algorithms

Etymologies

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  • Interesting, this is from the Arabic, Al Ghul, meaning, "The Ghoul", probably due to the varying brightness.

    October 15, 2008

  • "Algol, or Medusa's Head, a fixed star of variable magnitude, situated in the constellation Perseus, and marked ß in our catalogues. Montanari was the first who observed the variations of this star; and, according to Mr. Goodricke, of York, the first astronomer who discovered the period of these variations; he found it to be repeated every 2 days, 20 hours, 48 minutes, and 56 seconds; and La Lande makes it 2 days, 20 hours, 49 minutes, and 2 second."
    Falconer's New Universal Dictionary of the Marine (1816), 7

    October 13, 2008