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.
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.
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 90.90 light years and the furthest main star is a distance of 341.53 light years. The average distance to the main stars is 250.22 light years.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
|Is a Zodiac Sign||No|
|Brightest Star||Alpha Muscae|
|Area||138.355 sq. deg.|
|Percentage of Night Sky||0.34%|
|Site Exoplanet Count||3|
|Meteor Shower Count||0|
|Nearest Star||HIP 57367|
|Nearest Star with Exoplanet(s)||HD 111232|
|Brightest Star||Alpha Muscae|
|Dimmest Star||HD 105151|
|Furthest Star||TU Muscae|
|Bright Star Count||31|
|Hipparcos Star Count||604|
|Main Star Count||6|
|Messier Deep Space Object Count||0|
|Bordering / Neighbouring / Surrounding Constellations||Crux|
*Note: The number of Non-Messier Deep Space Object Count relates to how many are covered on this site not how many there are.
|Engraved Hourglass Nebula||Planetary Nebula||8,000 Light Years||-67 22 51.74||13h 39m 35m 071|
|NGC 4372||Globular Cluster||-72 39 32.7||12 25 45m 43|
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