Antlia Constellation History, Location, How To View

Antlia Constellation: History, Location, How to View

Astronomy has always been the centre of great attention with its numerous constellations. One of such constellations is Antlia. In Greek and Latin Antlia name means pump and denotes an air pump.

Antlia is considered a “faint” constellation because the stars in this constellation are not very bright. The brightest star is “Alpha Antliae”. It belongs to the Lacaille clan of the constellation. The brown dwarf is the nearest star in Antlia which has the distance of only 13.15 light-years from Earth.

History of Antlia Constellation

The discovery of Antlia dates back to 18th Century when Abbé Nicolas Louis de Lacaille, a French astronomer created and catalogued it along with 13 more constellations. These constellations were introduced for filling a void in different faint areas in the southern sky.

Lacaille stayed at Cape of Good Hope for two years where he witnessed and catalogued around 10,000 stars in the southern region which resulted in the creation of Antlia and other thirteen constellations. In Lacaille’s depiction, the Antlia was like a vacuum pump of single-cylinder which was used in the initial experiments of Papin’s. At the same time, Johann Bode, a German astronomer gave its double-cylinder version.

The first catalogue of Antlia was published in Coelum Australe Stelliferum in 1763 after the death of Lacaille. The catalogue included 14 new constellations, 42 nebulous objects and nearly 10,000 southern stars which were recognized as the Lacaille’s family.

What is the English Name for Antlia Constellation?

The English name for Antlia Constellation is “Air Pump”.

What is the Greek Mythological Significance of Antlia Constellation?

Lacaille’s constellations are almost named after some scientific instruments. In the old days, Antlia was considered too faint to be included in ancient Greek constellations; therefore, it has no myths attached to it.

However, Lacaille depicted that the Antlia was like the single-cylinder Antlia Pneumatic air pump used by Denis Papin, A French physicist, in the 1670s in his various experiments. Therefore, the constellation was named after the instrument, which was invented by Papin.

How to Find Antlia Constellation?

Some famous constellations surround Antlia and if you find them, you will easily locate Antlia. The information is discussed ahead:

  • Locate Hydra the sea snake, Pyxis the compass, Vela or Centaurus in the southern sky.
  • Hydra is to Antlia’s north, Pyxis to its west, Vela to its south, and Centaurus to the east. This constellation group gets prominent in late spring and winter, and you can quickly locate them in the southern sky.
  • You can also recognize it through Alpha Antliae, the brightest star of Antlia.

What is the Area of Antlia Constellation?

The Antlia Constellation has an area of 238.901 square degrees.

What Quadrant is Antlia Constellation in?

The Antlia Constellation is located in Southern Hemisphere’s third quadrant, denoted at SQ3.

What Latitudes is Antlia Constellation Visible in?

Antlia Constellation can be seen in the latitude of +45° and -90°. Followings are the neighbouring constellations of Antlia:

  • Hydra
  • Vela
  • Centaurus
  • Pyxis

What Type of Telescope if best for Viewing Antlia Constellation?

The Antlia constellation is extremely faint and can hardly be seen from ordinary telescopes. It requires modern telescopes like NASA/ESA Hubble space telescope to locate the Antlia constellation, and other fainted constellations quickly.


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