Southern

  • Aqr - Aquarius the Water Carrier

    Size

    10 of 88

    Intro and Visual description

    Water jar pattern. Near Pegasus.

    An ancient Babylonian constellation which contained the September equinox in the fourth millenium B.C. Aquarius is included in the ancient star catalogs of Eudoxos of Knidos, Aratos of Soli, and Ptolemy.

    M2 (Globular cluster), mag. 6.4.

    M72 (Globular cluster), mag. 9.3.

    M73 (Galactic cluster), mag. 9.1.

     

     

  • Cae - Caelum the Engraver's Chisel

    Size

    81 of 88

    Regions

    Intro and Visual description

    A tiny, faint constellation, located south of Orion, barely visible from 35 degrees north latitude in December and January.

    Created by Lacaille in 1752, as one of 14 constellations in the far southern sky named after scientific instruments. One of 17 constellations created by Nicolas Louis de Lacaille in 1756. ???

     

     

  • CMa - Canis Major the Big Dog

    Size

    43 of 88

    Regions

    Intro and Visual description

    South of Orion in the Winter Hexagon, near the horizon. Sirius is the brightest star in the sky.

    Canis Major is included in the ancient star catalogs of Eudoxos of Knidos, Aratos of Soli, and Ptolemy.

    One of Orion’s two faithful dogs, following him across the sky. Sirius, called Sothis or the Dog Star, was significant in Egyptian mythology, and its heliacal rising signalled the start of the Egyptian year in the third millenium B.C. This constellation has been associated with several mythical dogs, including the hound of Actaeon.

    Special Stars

  • Cap - Capricornus the Sea Goat

    Size

    40 of 88

    Regions

    Intro and Visual description

    Between Sagittarius and Aquarius. Dim stars; look for laughing mouth.

    Pan only partly succeeded in turning himself from a goat into a fish. Ancient autumnal equinox location.

    Capricornus is included in the ancient star catalogs of Eudoxos of Knidos, Aratos of Soli, and Ptolemy.

     

    Star Clusters:  M30 (Globular cluster), mag. 7.7.

     

  • Car - Carina the Keel of Argo Navis

    Size

    34 of 88

    Intro and Visual description

    Locate Canopus by drawing a line from the easternmost star of Orion’s belt down through Rigel, Orion’s left foot. Canopus lies about twice as far from Orion’s belt as Sirius.

    One of 17 constellations created by Nicolas Louis de Lacaille in 1756. Originally part of Argo Navis, which was included in the ancient star catalogs of Eudoxos of Knidos, Aratos of Soli, and Ptolemy.

     

    Asterisms:  

  • Cen - Centaurus the Centaur

    IAU Constellation

    Size

    9 of 88

    Regions

    Intro and Visual description

    Partially visible only in March and April from 35 degrees north latitude. Until early modern times the Centaur included Crux, which now nestles underneath his body.

     

    Skylore and Literature

  • Cet - Cetus the Sea Monster or Whale

    Size

    4 of 88

    Intro and Visual description

    South of Aries and Pisces, one of the largest constellations. Trace to the second-magnitude star Beta-Ceti (Diphda, near the flukes) by following a line southward from Alpheratz (the corner of Pegasus and Andromeda) through gamma-Pegasi, across Pisces and Cetus.

    Cetus is included in the ancient star catalogs of Eudoxos of Knidos, Aratos of Soli, and Ptolemy.

     

    Skylore and Literature:  Killed by Perseus as he was attempting to devour Andromeda. Movies: Clash of the Titans; Internet movie database.

     

    Special Stars