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Ara, The Altar Constellation

Ara (Pronounciation:Are-ah, Abbrev:Ara, Latin:Arae) is a constellation, one of 88 constellations that the night sky is divided into. The sky is not divided up equally between the constellations. Ara takes up 237.057 sq. degrees of the night sky which equates to 0.57% of the night sky. The constellation gets its name as it name means The Altar . The constellation is one of the original constellations that was devised by the Ancient Greco-Egyptian astronomer Ptolemy who lived between 90 A.D. and 168 A.D.

Ara is not a member of the Zodiac group of twelve constellations that appear when the Sun sets. Ara is a southern hemispheric constellation which means it can't be seen easily or at all from the northern hemisphere.

The brightest star in Ara is Beta Arae. There are 10 Extrasolar Planets (Exoplanets) in this constellation that are detailed on this site. There is a dedicated page for exoplanets in Ara. The current largest star so far identified in the constellation of Ara is Westerlund 1-26. For a list of named stars, that is stars that don't start HD or HIP, please visit Ara Star List Page.

Ara Star and Deep Space Object Count

The number of stars that have been catalogued as part of the Hipparcos Star Catalogue from Ara is 964. The number of stars that are of magnitude 6.0 or lower in the constellation is 43. The number of stars in the constellation that make up the outline is 8.

There are no deep space objects that were identified by Charles Messier in this constellation. There are 1 non-Messier deep space objects that are covered on this site and the list is below.

Stars of Interest

The nearest star to Earth is HIP 82724 which is roughly about 12.06 Light Years from the Earth. The nearest star to the Earth with an exoplanet is HIP 85523 which is about 14.81 Light Years. The furthest star that can be located in the constellation is HIP 86894 which is located about 108721.1 Light Years away from the Sun. The furthest figure is derived from either the 1997 or 2007 Hipparcos star catalogue parallax figure and it has been known to produce distances that are wrong.

The dimmest star that can be seen in Ara with the naked eye is V862 Arae. The dim star has an apparent magnitude of 5.99. The dimmest star that a person is able to see with their naked eye is 6.0 magnitude based on the table in the reference. Ref: University of Michigan

The caveat of these stars are that they are catalogued on this site. If you know of a star that is nearer or further then do let me know in the comments and I'll add it to the site. The stars mentioned are from the Hipparcos catalogue or have been added because of their special status.

Constellation Legend

Ara represents the Centaur Chiron, usually described as upside down. For more on Chiron, have a look at Centaur .

There are no major meteor showers that radiate from within this constellation.

Ara Facts

Is a Zodiac Sign No
Largest StarWesterlund 1-26
Brightest StarBeta Arae
Area237.057 sq. deg.
Percentage of Night Sky0.57%
Size Position63rd
Hemisphere Southern
Site Exoplanet Count10
Meteor Shower Count0
Nearest StarHIP 82724
Nearest Star with Exoplanet(s)HIP 85523
Dimmest StarV862 Arae
Furthest StarHIP 86894
Bright Star Count43
Hipparcos Star Count964
Main Star Count8
Messier Deep Space Object Count0
*Non-Messier Deep Space Object Count1
Bordering / Neighbouring / Surrounding ConstellationsScorpius
Triangulum Australe
Corona Australis

*Note: The number of Non-Messier Deep Space Object Count relates to how many are covered on this site not how many there are.

Ara Constellation Map

Ara Constellation Star Map

The map was generated using Night Vision, an awesome free application by Brian Simpson.

List of Deep Space Objects (Galaxies, Nebulas, Supernovas, etc) in Ara

NameTypeDistanceDeclinationRight Ascension
Westerlund - 1Star Cluster12.1 k-45:51:09.416h 47h 04m 0

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