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Created with Fabric.js 1.4.5 The Centaurus Constellation The figure of Centaurus can be traced backto a Babylonian constellation known as the Bison-Man. It has been closely associated with the Sun god Utu-Shamash from very early times.The Greeks depicted the constellation as a centaur and gave it its current name. The name Centaurus in mythology is given not to a centaur but a deformed human who would later mate with mares and spawn the centaur race.It was mentioned by Eudoxus in the 4th century BCE and Aratus in the 3rd century BCE. In the 2nd century AD, Claudius Ptolemy catalogued 37 stars in Centaurus. Large as it is now,in earlier times it was even larger, as the constellation Lupus was treated as an asterism within Centaurus, portrayed in illustrations as an unspecified animal either in the centaur's grasp or impaled on its spear. Ancient Origins The two bright stars are (left) Alpha Centauri and (right) Beta Centauri. The faint red star in the center of the red circle is Proxima Centauri. Abbreviation CenGenitive CentauriPronunciation /sɛnˈtɔrəs/, genitive /sɛnˈtɔraɪ/Symbolism the CentaurRight ascension 13 hDeclination50°Quadrant SQ3Area 1060 sq. deg. (9th)Main stars 11Bayer/Flamsteedstars 69Stars with planets 13Stars brighter than 3.00m 10Stars within 10.00 pc (32.62 ly) 8Brightest star α Cen (0.27m)Nearest star Proxima Centauri (α Cen C)(4.24 ly, 1.30 pc)Messier objects 0Meteor showers Alpha CentauridsOmicron CentauridsTheta CentauridsBorderingconstellations AntliaCarinaCircinusCruxHydraLibra (corner)LupusMuscaVela Best Visible Visible at latitudes between +25° and 90°.Best visible at 21:00 (9 p.m.) during the month of May Deep Sky Objects NGC 3918 is a bright planetary nebula in the constellation Centaurus, that is called the "Blue Planetary" or "The Southerner". It is the brightest of the far southern planetary nebulae. The spiral galaxy, NGC4622 (also called backward galaxy), lies 111 million light years away in the constellation Centaurus. NGC 4622 is an example of a galaxy with leading spiral arms. NGC 3766 is an open cluster 6300 light-years from Earth that is visible to the unaided eye. It contains approximately 100 stars, the brightest of which are 7th magnitude.NGC 5460 is another naked-eye open cluster, 2500 light-years from Earth, that has an overall magnitude of 6 and contains approximately 40 stars.
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