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Octans, The Octant Constellation

Octans (Pronounciation:Oct-ans, Abbrev:Oct, Latin:Octantis) is a constellation, one of 88 constellations that the night sky is divided into. The sky is not divided up equally between the constellations. Octans takes up 291.045 sq. degrees of the night sky which equates to 0.71% of the night sky. The constellation gets its name as it name means The Octant . 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.

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

The brightest star in Octans is Nu Octantis. There are 4 Extrasolar Planets (Exoplanets) in this constellation that are detailed on this site. There is a dedicated page for exoplanets in Octans. For a list of named stars, that is stars that don't start HD or HIP, please visit Octans Star List Page.

Octans Star and Deep Space Object Count

The number of stars that have been catalogued as part of the Hipparcos Star Catalogue from Octans is 794. The number of stars that are of magnitude 6.0 or lower in the constellation is 35. The number of stars in the constellation that make up the outline is 5.

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.

Stars of Interest

The nearest star to Earth is HIP 113229 which is roughly about 28.1 Light Years from the Earth. The nearest star to the Earth with an exoplanet is HD 142022 which is about 111.97 Light Years. The furthest star that can be located in the constellation is HIP 86836 which is located about 326163.3 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 dimmest star that can be seen in Octans with the naked eye is Mu1 Octantis. The dim star has an apparent magnitude of 5.99. 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

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.

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.

Items of Interest

Octans is the southern most constellation and covers the south pole area when you look directly up. Unlike Polaris which is directly overhead in the North Pole, there is not an equivalent. The star closest to the South Pole in terms of overhead has the name Polaris Australis.

There are no major meteor showers that radiate from within this constellation.

Octans Facts

Is a Zodiac Sign No
Brightest StarNu Octantis
Area291.045 sq. deg.
Percentage of Night Sky0.71%
Size Position50th
Hemisphere Southern
Site Exoplanet Count4
Meteor Shower Count1
Nearest StarHIP 113229
Nearest Star with Exoplanet(s)HD 142022
Dimmest StarMu1 Octantis
Furthest StarHIP 86836
Bright Star Count35
Hipparcos Star Count794
Main Star Count5
Messier Deep Space Object Count0
*Non-Messier Deep Space Object Count0
Bordering / Neighbouring / Surrounding ConstellationsIndus

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

Octans Constellation Map

Octans Constellation Star Map

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

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tonberry kingWednesday, 4th October 2017 12:35:57 AM