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Mensa, The Mountain Table Constellation

Mensa Constellation Star Map

Mensa (Pronounciation:Men-sar, Abbrev:Men, Latin:Mensae) is a constellation, one of 88 constellations that the night sky is divided into. The sky is not divided up equally between the constellations. Mensa takes up 153.484 sq. degrees of the night sky which equates to 0.37% of the night sky. Mensa is the 75th largest in terms of size in the night sky.

The constellation name means The Mountain Table . It was not one of the original constellations that had been devised by Ptolemy, instead it was created by Abbé Nicolas Louis de Lacaille years later.

There are 4 stars that make up the main constellation. The hipparcos satellite scanned and detailed 423 stars. There are 16 stars that can be seen with the naked eye in the constellation on a very clear night sky.

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

There are 6 Extrasolar Planets (Exoplanets) in this constellation that are detailed on this site. There is a dedicated page for exoplanets in Mensa.

There are no deep space objects that were identified by Charles Messier in this constellation. There are no non-Messier deep space objects in this constellation that are covered at present on this site.

The image at the top right of this page was generated using Night Vision, a free to use and download application by Brian Simspon.

Distance to Mensa

You can't just go to one location and arrive at the constellation because the constellation is made up of stars at different locations and different distances. The nearest main star in the constellation is at a distance of 33.26 light years and the furthest main star is a distance of 793.58 light years. The average distance to the main stars is 399.37 light years.

Mensa Star Facts

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.

HIP 31292, Mensa's Nearest Star

The nearest star to Earth is HIP 31292 which is roughly about 28.32 Light Years from the Earth. The nearest star to the Earth with an exoplanet is HD 39194 which is about 84.48 Light Years.

HIP 19732, Mensa's Furthest Star

The furthest star that is located in the constellation is HIP 19732 and it is 20385.21 light years away from the Sun.

Alpha Mensae, Brightest Star in Mensa

The brightest star in Mensa is Alpha Mensae and is located about 319.84 light years from the Sun. The star has a apparent magnitude of 5.08 but an absolute magnitude of 5.04 when the star is viewed from a distance of 10 Parsecs or 32.6 Light Years. The star is recognised as being the brightest in the constellation as it has the Bayer status of Alpha.

Xi Mensae, Mensa's Dimmest Visible Star

The dimmest star that can be seen in Mensa with the naked eye is Xi Mensae. The dim star has an apparent magnitude of 5.84. 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.

Mensa Mythology

There is no Greek Legend behind this constellation. It was created by Abbé Nicolas Louis de Lacaille to fill in the voids in the astronomical charts. It is said to mean mountain table or just table. The high intelligence society Mensa use the name because it means table. They chose table because they link it to the round table of the King Arthurian legend. It is a small constellation situated near the southern celestial pole.

Meteor Showers Radiating from Mensa

There are 1 Meteor Showers that occur during the year within this constellation based on information gathered from Adam Mickiewicz University (Poland). The list below are major ones and which I have a date period for.

The Meteor Shower is known as the Delta Mensids.



List of Main Stars in Mensa

The following list contains the stars that make up the constellation. For a larger list of stars in the entire constellation area, please visit the For a list of named stars, that is stars that don't start HD or HIP, please visit Mensa Star List page.

NameBayerDistance (Lt.Yr.)Right AscensionDeclinationSpectral TypeColour
Alpha MensaeAlpha Mensae33.2606h 10m 14.20-74d 45` 09.1G5VYellow
Beta MensaeBeta Mensae793.5805h 02m 43.00-71d 18` 51.6G8IIIYellow
Gamma MensaeGamma Mensae102.2805h 31m 52.66-76d 20` 30.0K4IIIOrange
Eta MensaeEta Mensae668.3704h 55m 11.14-74d 56` 13.2K6IIIOrange

Mensa Facts


NameMensa
AbbreviationMen
Is a Zodiac Sign No
Brightest StarAlpha Mensae
Area153.484 sq. deg.
Percentage of Night Sky0.37%
Size Position75th
Hemisphere Southern
Site Exoplanet Count6
Meteor Shower Count1
Nearest StarHIP 31292
Nearest Star with Exoplanet(s)HD 39194
Brightest StarAlpha Mensae
Dimmest StarXi Mensae
Furthest StarHIP 19732
Bright Star Count16
Hipparcos Star Count423
Main Star Count4
Messier Deep Space Object Count0
Bordering / Neighbouring / Surrounding ConstellationsDorado
Hydrus
Octans
Chamaeleon
Volans

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


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


NameTypeDistanceDeclinationRight Ascension
NGC 1791Open Star Cluster-70 10 01.6104 59 05m 550
NGC 2019Lenticular Galaxy-70 09 32.505 31 56m 48
NGC 2121Globular Star Cluster-71 28 52.0005 48 13m 190


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