Ara Constellation History, Location, How To View

Ara Constellation: History, Location, How to View

The universe is full of intriguing mysteries, and each constellation is just an addition to that. One of the 88 fascinating modern and ancient constellations is Ara. In Latin, the word Ara is defined as “The Altar”.

Ara is situated in the southern sky. It is one of the 48 Greek bulks which were described by an astronomer named Ptolemy, in the 2nd century. Ara has 63rd position in constellations size, which makes it one among the smallest constellations.

History of Ara Constellation

Ptolemy illustrated ara as one of the most southern constellations. In 270 BC, it was recorded as lying closer to the horizon by Aratus. In Professor Bradley Schaefer’s proposition, the Ancients were able to see Zeta Arae, the third brightest star in Ara, for an altar looking pattern.

In old times, Ara had different illustrations associated with it. Its representatives include a southward smoke-rising compact classical altar; demons surrounded altar and a burning incense altar.

Moreover, Hyginus also depicted it as devils on any side of the blazes. The 16th-17th century Dutch uranographer Willem Blaeu illustrated Ara as a sacrificing altar with a burning animal with the unusual offering and smoke rising northward, symbolized by Alpha Arae.

What is the English Name for Ara Constellation?

The English name for Ara Constellation is “Altar“.

What is the Greek Mythological Significance of Ara Constellation?

Like so many other constellations, Ara also has different Greek myths associated with it.  It is one Greek mythology considered as the altar in which the gods formed alliances and made their offerings before conquering the Titans and overthrowing Cronus. Cronus was the son of Uranus and one of the twelve Titan rulers of the universe.

In another myth, it represents and signifies altar of Arcadia’s King Lycaon. Lycaon tested Zeus by serving him a child’s meal who was dismembered and tried killing the god during his sleep. The furious Zeus killed Lycaon’s 50 sons and transformed him into a wolf. Another version of this myth says that the sacrificed children were Callisto Lycaon’s daughter and Arcas Zeus’s son.

How to Find Ara Constellation?

Ara can be easily located by using the following simple steps:

  • Look for Beta Arae which is the brightest star in the Ara constellation. It is a supergiant (K3) orange class k and has a luminosity of around 4600x of the sun.
  • You can also find it by locating Alpha Arae, a (B2) luminous class B dwarf star. This star is a blue and hot spectroscopic binary.
  • Now you should move to R Arae, which is a variable star. It is worth watching star with quick changes.
  • Now head on towards NGC 6193. It is at 7200 light-years’ distance. In a clear and dark night, you can also see it through unaided eye. You can again try open cluster NGC 6193 which is 8° towards Alpha Arae’s west.
  • Now recognize Epsilon1 Arae of 4th magnitude and move 1.5° towards NGC 6208’s west which contains around 60 stars with the brightest one of magnitude 10.

What is the Area of Ara Constellation?

The Ara constellation has the area of 237.057 square degrees in the southern sky.

What Quadrant is Ara Constellation in?

Ara is located in the third quadrant of Southern Hemisphere which is denoted as SQ3.

What Latitudes is Ara Constellation Visible in?

Ara has a latitude of +25° and -90°. Its neighbour constellations can easily locate it.

What Type of Telescope if best for Viewing Ara Constellation?

You do not need giant and wide-ranged telescopes for finding Ara. You can quickly locate it with simple science telescopes or can also use binoculars for seeing Ara.


Recommended Reading: