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This is a small southern constellation, squeezed awkwardly in between Centaurus and Triangulum Australe. It is not difficult to find, lying next to Alpha (a) Centauri, but contains little of note. In shape, Circinus is a long, slim isosceles triangle, representing a pair of dividing compasses, as used by surveyors and navigators. It is one of a number of constellations based on the scientific instruments of the day that were introduced in the 18 th century by the French astronomer Nicolas Louis de Lacaille.

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