- Ara (constellation)
name = Ara
abbreviation = Ara
genitive = Arae
symbology = the Altar
RA = 17.39
areatotal = 237
arearank = 63rd
numbermainstars = 7
numberbfstars = 18
numberstarsplanets = 4
numberbrightstars = 2
numbernearbystars = 4
brighteststarname = β Ara
starmagnitude = 2.9
neareststarname = 41 Ara
stardistance = 28.7
numbermessierobjects = 0
meteorshowers = None
Corona Australis Scorpius
Triangulum Australe Apus
latmax = 25
latmin = 90
month = July
Ara (pron-en|ˈɛərə, [Random House Dictionary] _la.
altar) is a southern constellationsituated between the constellations Scorpiusand Triangulum Australe.
Ara's brightest star, β Arae, has an
apparent magnitudeof 2.9. γ Arae is a double starjust south of β. μ Arae is believed to have at least four planets orbiting it, one of which may be rocky in nature. ά Arae has the name Choo, Chinese for club or staff. Epsilon Arae, έ Arae, has the name Tso Kang, meaning left guard.
Notable deep sky objects
The northwest corner of Ara is crossed by the
Milky Wayand contains several open clusters and diffuse nebulae. The brightest of the globular clusters, NGC 6397, is 8,200 light-years from our solar systemand may be the closest cluster of that kind.
This constellation was one of
Ptolemy's original 48 constellations.
In ancient Greek mythology, it was thought that the
Cyclopesoriginally built the altar as a place to sacrifice to the Olympian gods. The altar, usually depicted upside down, but sometimes upright with the smoke drifting into the Milky Way, was identified as the altar of Lycaon. Lycaon sacrificed a child (according to one legend, it was Arcas) to Zeus on the altar on mount Lycaeus, and immediately after the sacrifice was turned into a wolf, which may have also formed the basis for the myth of the constellation Lupus.
In other Greek tales, Ara was identified with the altar of the god of wine,
Ara was also sometimes identified with that of the
centaur Chiron; its original Latin name was Ara Centauri.
* Ian Ridpath and Wil Tirion (2007). "Stars and Planets Guide", Collins, London. ISBN 978-0007251209. Princeton University Press, Princeton. ISBN 978-0691135564.
* [http://www.allthesky.com/constellations/norma/ The Deep Photographic Guide to the Constellations: Ara]
* [http://www.nightskyinfo.com/constellations/ara/ NightSkyInfo.com: Constellation Ara]
* [http://www.wikisky.org/?ra=17.376392410628202&de=-56.62050634239181&zoom=3&locale=EN&show_grid=1&show_constellation_lines=1&show_constellation_boundaries=1&show_const_names=0&show_galaxies=1"WIKISKY.ORG": Ara]
* [http://www.ianridpath.com/startales/ara.htm Star Tales – Ara]
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