Southern Hemisphere

Mensa Mensae (Men)

WIDTH l DEPTH l SIZE RANKING 75» FULLY VISIBLE 5°n-90°s

A small constellation of the south polar region of the sky, Mensa is the faintest of all 88 constellations. Its brightest star, Alpha (a) Mensae, is only magnitude 5.1. Its main point of interest is the part of the Large Magellanic Cloud that overlaps it from neighboring Dorado. Mensa was introduced in the 18th century by the French astronomer Nicolas Louis de Lacaille to commemorate Table Mountain, near Cape Town in South Africa, from where he observed the southern stars. The wispy appearance of the Large Magellanic Cloud reminded him of the clouds sometimes seen over the real Table Mountain

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