Universe Guide

Microscopium, The Microscope Constellation

Microscopium Constellation Star Map

Microscopium (Pronounciation:Micro-scope-e-um, Abbrev:Mic, Latin:Microscopii) is a constellation, one of 88 constellations that the night sky is divided into. The sky is not divided up equally between the constellations. Microscopium takes up 209.513 sq. degrees of the night sky which equates to 0.51% of the night sky. Microscopium is the 66th largest in terms of size in the night sky.

The constellation name means The Microscope . 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 5 stars that make up the main constellation. The hipparcos satellite scanned and detailed 651 stars. There are 23 stars that can be seen with the naked eye in the constellation on a very clear night sky.

Microscopium is not a member of the Zodiac group of twelve constellations that appear when the Sun sets. Microscopium 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 Microscopium.

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 Microscopium

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 115.54 light years and the furthest main star is a distance of 378.38 light years. The average distance to the main stars is 220.48 light years.

Microscopium 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.

Lacaille 8760, Microscopium's Nearest Star

The nearest star to Earth is Lacaille 8760 which is roughly about 12.87 Light Years from the Earth. The nearest star to the Earth with an exoplanet is HD 203949 which is about 263.67 Light Years.

HIP 102339, Microscopium's Furthest Star

The furthest star that is located in the constellation is HIP 102339 and it is 163081.7 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.

Gamma Microscopii, Brightest Star in Microscopium

The brightest star in Microscopium is Gamma Microscopii and is located about 46.45 light years from the Sun. The star has a apparent magnitude of 4.67 but an absolute magnitude of 0.44 when the star is viewed from a distance of 10 Parsecs or 32.6 Light Years. The star is only recognised as being Gamma Microscopii rather than having Alpha status.

HD 201852, Microscopium's Dimmest Visible Star

The dimmest star that can be seen in Microscopium with the naked eye is HD 201852. The dim star has an apparent magnitude of 5.97. 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.

Microscopium Mythology

One of the new constellations, does not have a legend behind it. It was created by French astronomer Nicolas Louis de Lacaille to fill a constellation void. Microscopes were new and he paid homage to the creation by naming it after him. If constellations were being created nowadays, the Computer or Airplane would be amongst the items that are honoured.

Microscopium Facts

Is a Zodiac Sign No
Brightest StarGamma Microscopii
Area209.513 sq. deg.
Percentage of Night Sky0.51%
Size Position66th
Hemisphere Southern
Site Exoplanet Count6
Meteor Shower Count2
Nearest StarLacaille 8760
Nearest Star with Exoplanet(s)HD 203949
Brightest StarGamma Microscopii
Dimmest StarHD 201852
Furthest StarHIP 102339
Bright Star Count23
Hipparcos Star Count651
Main Star Count5
Messier Deep Space Object Count0
Bordering / Neighbouring / Surrounding ConstellationsCapricornus
Piscis Austrinus

*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 Microscopium

NameTypeDistanceDeclinationRight Ascension
NGC 6923Galaxy in a Pair of Galaxies-30 49 54.80211997320 31 39m 0549182381
NGC 6925Emission-line Galaxy-31 58 51.2020 34 20m 566
NGC 7057Spiral Galaxy-42 27 37.51845251321 24 58m 7077616212

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