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Ara – the Alter. Ara , the Altar, is visible in southern latitudes from November through January. This is an ancient constellation that has existed since the time of the Babylonians.
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Ara – the Alter • Ara, the Altar, is visible in southern latitudes from November through January. • This is an ancient constellation that has existed since the time of the Babylonians. • It represents the altar of the centaur, Chiron, of Centaurusfame. He was considered to be the wisest creature on Earth. • The altar was for offering sacrifices to the gods. • Arais located just south of the constellation Scorpius. • Except for a few faint globular clusters, there is not much of interest to be found here.
Centaurus – the Centaur • Centaurus, the Centaur, is one of the largest constellations in the southern sky. • It represents Chiron, one of the half-man, half-horse beasts of Greek mythology. • Chiron was accidentally wounded by Hercules. After his death, Hercules honored him by giving him a place in the stars.
Centauruscontains the third brightest star in the sky, RigelKentaurus (aka Alpha Centauri), at magnitude -0.01. • This star is part of a triple star system which are the closest stars to our own solar system, the closest being Proxima Centauri. • Another star in Centaurus, Agena (aka Hadar), is the tenth brightest star in the night sky. • This constellation contains no Messier objects.
Lupus – the Wolf • Lupus, the Wolf, is located between Centaurus and Hydra. • The shape of this constellation is not very obvious. It was seen to be an arbitrary animal sacrificed to Centaurus. • The constellation is probably based on the Babylonian figure known as the Mad Dog. This was a strange hybrid creature that combined the head and torso of a man with the legs and tail of a lion. • It finally became designated as the wolf by the Latin translation of Ptolemy’s original 48 constellations of the sky. • Lupus contains no Messier objects and contains no notable items of interest.
TriangulumAustrale • TriangulumAustrale, the Southern Triangle, is completely visible in latitudes south of 20 degrees north from April through June. • Its three brightest stars have been called the "Three Patriarchs", Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and so this constellation can be easily recognized by this asterism (or shape). • This is one of the 12 southern constellations named by Johann Bayer in the early 1600's.
The three bright stars in this constellation are so recognizable that they can be used to locate others around it such as Apusto its Southwest, Norma to its Northeast, Centaurus to its North, Arato its East and Pavoto its South. • TriangulumAustrale contains no Messier objects.
Norma – the Carpenters’ Square • Norma, the Carpenters Square, is completely visible in latitudes south of 30 degrees north from April through June. • It represents to a carpenter's tool called a square, or a level. • This is one of the southern constellations named by Nicolas Louis de Lacaille in the mid-eighteenth century. He called it Norma et Regula, which meant "the Level and the Square". The name was later shortened to Norma. • Norma is composed of faint stars and contains no objects of interest.