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Musca, The Fly Constellation Facts and Mythology

Musca Constellation Star Map

Musca (Pronounciation:Muss-car, Abbrev:Mus, Latin:Muscae) is a constellation, one of 88 constellations that the night sky is divided into. The sky is not divided up equally between the constellations. Musca takes up 138.355 sq. degrees of the night sky which equates to 0.34% of the night sky. Musca is the 77th largest in terms of size in the night sky.

The constellation name means The Fly . It was not one of the original constellations that had been devised by Ptolemy, instead it was created by Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser and Frederick de Houtman years later.

There are 6 stars that make up the main constellation. The hipparcos satellite scanned and detailed 604 stars. There are 31 stars that can be seen with the naked eye in the constellation on a very clear night sky.

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

The distance to Musca is not calculable because all the stars that make up the constellation are at various distances. The best answer for distance to Musca is to calculate the average distance of the stars.

There are 3 Extrasolar Planets (Exoplanets) in this constellation that are detailed on this site. There is a dedicated page for exoplanets in Musca.

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.

Musca 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 57367, Nearest Star

The nearest star to Earth is HIP 57367 which is roughly about 15.03 Light Years from the Earth. The nearest star to the Earth with an exoplanet is HD 111232 which is about 95.71 Light Years.

TU Muscae, Furthest Star

The furthest star that is located in the constellation is TU Muscae 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.

Alpha Muscae, Brightest Star in Musca

The brightest star in Musca is Alpha Muscae and is located about 33.73 light years from the Sun. The star has a apparent magnitude of 2.69 but an absolute magnitude of -2.24 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.

HD 105151, Dimmest Visible Star

The dimmest star that can be seen in Musca with the naked eye is HD 105151. The dim star has an apparent magnitude of 5.95. 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.

Lambda Chamaeleontis

A star with a designation of another constellation may seem like a mistake, however it is not. Lambda Chamaeleontis was once part of the Chamaeleon constellation but when the boundaries changed, it moved into the Musca constellation and has been ever since.

Musca Mythology

There is no Greek Legend behind this constellation. It was created by Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser and Frederick de Houtman to fill in the voids in the astronomical charts. Of all the creatures that they could have chosen, they chose Fly to be represented in the skies.

Musca Facts


NameMusca
AbbreviationMus
Is a Zodiac Sign No
Brightest StarAlpha Muscae
Area138.355 sq. deg.
Percentage of Night Sky0.34%
Size Position77th
Hemisphere Southern
Site Exoplanet Count3
Meteor Shower Count0
Nearest StarHIP 57367
Nearest Star with Exoplanet(s)HD 111232
Brightest StarAlpha Muscae
Dimmest StarHD 105151
Furthest StarTU Muscae
Bright Star Count31
Hipparcos Star Count604
Main Star Count6
Messier Deep Space Object Count0
*Non-Messier Deep Space Object Count0
Bordering / Neighbouring / Surrounding ConstellationsCrux
Centaurus
Carina
Chamaeleon
Apus
Circinus

*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 Musca


NameTypeDistanceDeclinationRight Ascension
Engraved Hourglass NebulaPlanetary Nebula8,000 Light Years-67 22 51.7413h 39m 35m 071


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PAULA SJOSTEDTWednesday, 4th July 2018 1:42:54 AM
Where do you have to be to see Musca