LaCaille, Planisphere contenant les Constellations Celestes

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The explosion of knowledge in the 18th century included a dramatic increase in the inventory of stars and the creation of new constellations, particularly involving the southern hemisphere.  

From an observatory in the Cape of Good Hope, Lacaille recorded 9,000 star positions. He invented 14 constellations which first appear in this article, including the Clock, Telescope, Microscope and the Southern Cross.

One of his 14 new constellations is small Pyxis, the Compass of Argo Navis, located nearby. Lacaille dismantled Argo Navis into a set of smaller constellations: Carina the Keel, Puppis the Stern or Poop, and Vela the Sail, although these do not appear in the star map. To view Argo Navis you’ll need to sail to Australia or South America; only Puppis becomes visible to observers in the US. The bright star Canopus, once alpha-Argus, now lies in Carina.