Horologium, Reticulum, and Caelum - Downloadable article
Within the Clock you'll go back in time to find some of the Southern Hemisphere's most distant galactic gems.
March 3, 2009
|This downloadable article is from an Astronomy magazine 45-article series called "Celestial Portraits." The collection highlights all 88 constellations in the sky and explains how to observe each constellation's deep-sky targets. The articles feature star charts, stunning pictures, and constellation mythology. We've put together 11 digital packages. Each one contains four Celestial Portraits articles for you to purchase and download.|
"Horologium, Reticulum, and Caelum" is one of four articles included in Celestial Portraits Package 8.
As summer arrives in the Southern Hemisphere, Canopus and the Large Magellanic Cloud ride at their highest. Just west of this neighborhood you can find three small, formless constellations tucked away that offer a window on some of the most distant galaxies. Observers in the southern United States can capture these galactic gems just before dawn when they scrape the southern horizon.
Horologium the Clock links a chain of a half dozen 5th-magnitude stars punctuated by 3rd-magnitude Alpha (α) Horologii at the north end. This yellowwhite star — 160 light-years away — lies more than a half-degree west of Delta (δ) Horologii, a similarly distant star but nearly two magnitudes fainter.
The smaller, more recognizable constellation Reticulum the Net lies adjacent to the southern half of Horologium. Its brightest stars form a diamond shape 7° long and 2° wide. The constellation's brightest star, Alpha Reticuli, shines at 3rd magnitude at a distance of 160 light-years. Zeta (ζ) Reticuli — a close naked-eye pair of 5th magnitude suns separated by 5' — lies on the western edge of the constellation. Our proximity to the pair (only 40 light-years), along with the fact that their spectral types are identical to the sun, has elevated Zeta Reticuli to special status in UFO lore. To read the complete article, purchase and download Celestial Portraits Package 8.
|Deep-sky objects in Horologium, Reticulum, and Caelum|
NGC 1252, NGC 1261, TW Horologii, NGC 1313, NGC 1433, NGC 1448, IC 2000, Arp-Madore, NGC 1493, NGC 1512, NGC 1527, NGC 1543, NGC 1559, Theta (θ) Reticuli, NGC 1574, NGC 1679, PRTM 1