Circinus Constellation History, Location, How To View

Circinus Constellation: History, Location, How to View

You will find all sizes from biggest to smallest and some in-between if you look into constellations. The most prominent constellations are easy to watch, but the smaller ones more interesting and demand professional telescopes. In the list of smaller constellations, you will find Circinus fourth in number.

This tiny constellation contains some major deep sky objects like Circinus Galaxy, pulsar PSR B1509-58, X-ray source Circinus X-1, planetary nebula NGC 5315 and NGC 5823, and NGC 5715 (open clusters).

Circinus does not have any stars brighter than magnitude 3.00 or located within 10 parsecs (32.6 light-years) of Earth. The most shining star in the constellation is Alpha Circini, the nearest star in Circinus, situated at 53.50 light-years from Earth.

History of Circinus Constellation

The Circinus constellation was introduced in 1756 by a French astronomer named Nicolas-Louis de Lacaille. Lacaille introduced this constellation with the French name “le Compas,” representing a dividing compass, on the southern sky chart.

Lacaille also depicted other constellations like Triangulum Australe, Norma, and Circinus in his chart, representing the level of a surveyor in a set of draughtsman’s instruments, ruler and set square and compass.

Lacaille published his discovered constellations in 1763 and used their Latin names in his publication, and Le Compas was referred to as Circinus.

What is the English name for Circinus Constellation?

The English name for Circinus is “Compass”, the drafting tool.

What is the Greek Mythological Significance of Circinus Constellation?

This constellation does not have any Greek mythology associated with it. Circinus was named after the drafting tool, which was used for drawing circles. However, the compass used in Circinus’ name is different from the mariner’s compass, representing the Pyxis constellation.

Lacaille created this constellation because he felt a void between Triangulum Australe and other stars, which marked the forefeet of Centaurus. He used the Circinus constellation as a bridge to fill that void.

How to Find Circinus Constellation?

You will easily spot the Circinus constellation if you follow some easy steps discussed below:

  • Find the Milky Way in the southern hemisphere.
  • Then locate Centaurus, Norma, Musca, Triangulum Australe, and Lupus constellation.
  • When you find these constellations, search for Circinus between them, near the Milky Way.
  • You will easily spot this constellation.

What is the Area of Circinus Constellation?

This constellation occupies a total area of 93.353 square meters.

What Quadrant is Circinus Constellation in?

Circinus is situated in the SQ3, Third quadrant of the southern hemisphere.

What Latitude is Circinus Constellation Visible in?

You can spot this constellation between the latitudes of +30° and -90°. The neighboring constellations of Circinus are:

What Type of Telescope is Best for Viewing Circinus Constellation?

Circinus is the fourth smaller telescope, which makes it hard to see with naked eyes or binoculars. You will need more giant and more gigantic telescopes for viewing it. You will need an 8-inch telescope for having a detailed view of this constellation.


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