Hydrus

Pictor Pictoris (Pic)

WIDTH mm DEPTH mm SIZE RANKING 59» FULLY VISIBLE 26°N-90°S

This faint constellation of the southern sky adjoining Carina and Puppis was invented in the 18th century by the French astronomer Nicolas Louis de Lacaille. He imagined it as an artist's easel and originally called it Equuleus Pictoris, although that name has since been shortened.

features of interest

THE PAINTER'S EASEL

features of interest

BETA (P) PICTORIS S 3 A 4th-magnitude blue-white star encircled by a disk of dust and gas. This is thought to be a planetary system in the process of formation, in the same way that our own solar system was born around the Sun. The disk can be seen only with special equipment on professional telescopes. Beta Pictoris is 63 light-years away.

IOTA (1) PICTORIS 5 A double star consisting of 6th-magnitude components

Dorado Doradus (Dor)

width mm depth mm size RANKING 72nd fuLLY vislBLE 20°n-90°s

Dorado contains most of the Large Magellanic Cloud (a nearby mini-galaxy), although some of it extends over the constellation's southern border into Mensa. Dorado is one of the constellations introduced in the late 16th century by the Dutch navigatorastronomers Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser and Frederick de Houtman. It represents the dolphinfish of tropical waters, not the more familiar goldfish commonly found in ponds and aquariums. The constellation has also been depicted as a swordfish.

features of interest beta (P) doradus 2 1 A bright Cepheid variable, ranging between magnitudes 3.5 and 4.1 every 9.8 days.

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