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Hawaiian Astronomical Society

Constellations: Circinus -- A Compass (for drawing circles)


Nicolas Louis de Lacaille was born in 1713 in Rumigny, France. By 1739 he taught mathematics at Mazarin College in Paris. In 1750, he traveled to the Cape of Good Hope in southern Africa, and by 1754 had named 14 constellations (including this one), made important measurements of the moon, Venus, and Mars, and cataloged almost 10,000 stars. On his return to Paris he attempted to compile his data by himself, a process that hastened his death in 1762. His Coelum Australe Stelliferum (Southern Sky Star Catalog) appeared the following year.


Each map can be clicked on to produce a 909x1199 version of it. They sport red labels, which look good on screen, but which disappear when used with red flashlights. Each map, therefore has a second link to a map better suited for printing in a graphics program, and using in the field. While the maps are quite large, they are all about 25-55k, and so are easy to view at today's modem speeds. The first map is a wide area view of the constellation, suitable for naked eye browsing. The next views are binocular width, showing stars to mag. 10, and labeling deepsky objects to magnitude 12.

Interactive, wide area map of Circinus

Map thumbnail

Click the map for a 916x1200 version of the above. Click here for a map better suited for use in the field.

Detailed map of Circinus

Map thumbnail

This a more detailed view of the constellation. The map displays stars to magnitude 10, and deepsky objects to magnitude 12. Click here for a map better suited for use in the field.


Image thumbnail 97k JPEG A mosaic from the Digital Sky Survey showing NGC5822 (in Lupus, at the top) and Caldwell 88 (NGC5823, at the bottom in Circinus). The Lupus cluster is very large (40'), not condensed, and rich, containing about 150 stars from mags. 9-12.

The Circinus cluster is smaller (10'), and just as rich, containing 100 stars from mags. 10-14.
Map Printable Map 814k JPEG


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