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Centaurus Constellation

Centaurus (Pronounciation:Cen-tore-us, Abbrev:Cen, Latin:Centauri) is a constellation, one of 88 constellations that the night sky is divided into. The sky is not divided up equally between the constellations. Centaurus takes up 1060.422 sq. degrees of the night sky which equates to 2.57% of the night sky. The constellation gets its name as it name means The Centaur . 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.

Centaurus is a southern hemispheric constellation which means it can't be seen easily or at all from the northern hemisphere. The brightest star in Centaurus is Rigil Kentaurus. There are 16 Extrasolar Planets (Exoplanets) detailed on this site.

Legend of the Constellation

Centaurs were half horse - half man creatures of Grecian Legend. The most famous is Sagittarius . Hercules encountered Centaurs during his fourth labour as he went to Capture the Erymanthian Boar. The constellation refers to Pholus, a friend of Hercules who provided him with food and help.

Items of Interest

The constellation contains the three closest stars to the Earth. The closest is a red dwarf star that goes by the name Proxima Centauri, a small red dwarf star. Its interest has increased recently because it was found to have a planet orbiting. A little further away are the twin stars Alpha Centauri A and B also known as Rigil Kentaurus. Proxima Centauri is a little too dim to be seen by the naked eye but Alpha A and B are possible.

Meteor Showers

There are 4 Meteor Showers that occur during the year within this constellation based on information gathered from Adam Mickiewicz University (Poland). The ones listed as the ones I've been able to find a date range for. For others if you have the time, you can visit the AMU site, obtains the SL value then use IMO tables to calculate the date. A lot of the Meteor Showers are weak and you need to do a lot of stargazing to spot them.

NameActivityPeak ActivityClosest Star
Alpha CentauridsJan 28 - Feb 21 Feb 07Rigil Kentaurus
Beta Centaurids2-Feb - 25 FebFeb 8/9Hadar
Omicron CentauridsJan 31 - Feb 19Feb 11Omicron Centauri
Theta CentauridsFeb 12 - Feb 16Feb 14Menkent

Centaurus Facts


NameCentaurus
AbbreviationCen
Is a Zodiac Sign No
Brightest StarRigil Kentaurus
Area1060.422 sq. deg.
Percentage of Night Sky2.57%
Size Position9th
Hemisphere Southern
Site Exoplanet Count16
Meteor Shower Count4
Bordering / Neighbouring / Surrounding ConstellationsHydra
Antlia
Vela
Carina
Musca
Crux
Circinus
Lupus

Centaurus Constellation Map


Centaurus Constellation Star Map

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


List of Named Stars in Centaurus


StarDistanceDeclinationRight Ascension
Alpha Centauri B4.09-60 d 50 ` 22.114h 39m 39.39
C1 Centauri652.33-47 d 22`21.211h 35m 13.36
C2 Centauri203.85-47 d 38`29.511h 35m 55.56
C3 Centauri362.40-47 d 44`50.611h 37m 34.05
Chi Centauri543.61-41 d 10 ` 46.514h 06m 02.79
Delta Centauri407.70-50 d 43 ` 20.712h 08m 21.54
Epsilon Centauri407.70-53 d 27 ` 58.913h 39m 53.27
Eta Centauri296.51-42 d 09 ` 27.914h 35m 30.45
Hadar407.70-60 d 22 ` 22.714h 03m 49.44
Iota Centauri59.30-36 d 42 ` 43.513h 20m 36.07
Ke Kwan362.40-42 d 06 ` 14.914h 59m 09.70
Lambda Centauri407.70-63 d 01 ` 11.411h 35m 46.93
Menkent59.30-36 d 22 ` 07.314h 06m 41.32
Mu Centauri543.61-42 d 28 ` 25.313h 49m 37.01
Muhlifain130.47-48 d 57 ` 35.612h 41m 31.20
Nu Centauri465.95-41 d 41 ` 15.613h 49m 30.30
Omicron Centauri3261.63-59 d 26 ` 31.411h 31m 46.07
Omicron2 Centauri3261.63-59 d 30 ` 56.311h 31m 48.81
Phi Centauri543.61-42 d 06 ` 02.513h 58m 16.28
Pi Centauri362.40-54 d 29 ` 27.711h 21m 00.44
Proxima Centauri4.22-62 d 40`52.914h 29m 47.75
Przybylski`s Star362.40-46 d 42`35.211h 37m 37.08
Psi Centauri250.89-37 d 53 ` 07.014h 20m 33.48
Rho Centauri362.40-52 d 22 ` 06.312h 11m 39.15
Rigil Kentaurus4.32-60 d 50 ` 06.514h 39m 40.90
Sigma Centauri407.70-50 d 13 ` 50.212h 28m 02.41
Tau Centauri130.47-48 d 32 ` 28.612h 37m 42.33
Upsilon1 Centauri407.70-44 d 48 ` 12.713h 58m 40.77
Upsilon2 Centauri1087.21-45 d 36 ` 12.114h 01m 43.49
V1019 Centauri465.95-37 d 48`11.214h 52m 51.09
V1154 Centauri1087.21-52 d 06`56.513h 05m 30.83
V716 Centauri1087.21-54 d 37`32.214h 13m 39.84
V765 Centauri1087.21-39 d 44`51.213h 39m 40.85
V767 Centauri-47 d 07`41.413h 53m 57.25
V788 Centauri326.16-44 d 19`33.212h 08m 53.84
V789 Centauri1087.21-41 d 11`46.613h 04m 48.25
V795 Centauri465.95-57 d 05`09.914h 14m 57.16
V808 Centauri3261.63-63 d 33`14.211h 29m 15.14
V809 Centauri-61 d 16`42.511h 31m 15.05
V815 Centauri271.80-42 d 38`19.611h 07m 16.76
V817 Centauri1630.82-41 d 13`53.712h 08m 54.60
V824 Centauri362.40-52 d 34`00.713h 10m 58.47
V827 Centauri407.70-51 d 00`44.713h 44m 16.03
V828 Centauri652.33-41 d 25`23.914h 03m 27.49
V869 Centauri815.41-51 d 30`16.714h 09m 35.06
V871 Centauri-1-63 d 22`21.911h 38m 20.37
V883 Centauri1087.21-59 d 16`36.014h 08m 56.27
V914 Centauri1087.21-53 d 58`06.811h 40m 42.49
V918 Centauri652.33-57 d 41`47.611h 47m 19.17
V928 Centauri815.41-41 d 44`09.112h 29m 57.88
V964 Cen407.70-52 d 44`52.013h 20m 37.85
V992 Centauri543.61-54 d 40`09.514h 05m 46.53
X2 Centauri465.95-35 d 11`11.012h 25m 21.76
Xi1 Centauri217.44-49 d 31 ` 38.113h 03m 33.35
Xi2 Centauri465.95-49 d 54 ` 22.413h 06m 54.66
Zeta Centauri362.40-47 d 17 ` 17.813h 55m 32.43


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