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Monday, August 26, 2013


Map image of the constellation Circinus
CIRCINUS the Compass is a faint, small constellation in the Southern Hemisphere's night sky. While not all that spectacular, it does contain several somewhat bright stars and is located near more famous constellations. It is considered a compass not because it looks like the circular-shaped compass used to find directions, but it looks like the device (also called calipers) used to draw arcs and circles. Circinus is located to the north of Apus, southwest of Centaurus, south of Lupus, west of Musca, southeast of Norma, and east of Triangulum Australis. If you live in the Southern Hemisphere, find Circinus by finding out where to look for a bright star known as Rigil Kentaurus, in the southern part of the constellation Centaurus, and look to the left. Circinus' brightest star (α) is Alpha Circini with an apparent magnitude of 3.18, while the second brightest star (β) is Beta Circini with a magnitude of 4.2. Gamma (­γ) Circini is the third brightest star (magnitude 4.5) and the third star to form the compass shape.

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Blog Background

The background has three Hubble Space Telescope images, which are accessible at this Hubble webpage:

— LH 95 is a star-forming region in the Large Magellanic Cloud, Dorado constellation.

— Ant Nebula (also called Menzel 3) is an aptly-named planetary nebula located in the constellation Norma.
— Egg Nebula (also called CL 2688) is a protoplanetary nebula in the constellation Cygnus.

HubbleSite Image Links: LH 95, Ant Nebula, and Egg Nebula