Constellations around Horologium and the SCP
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Horologium, Caelum, Columba, Dorado, Fornax, Grus, Horologium, Hydrus, Mensa, Phoenix, Pictor, Piscis Austrinus, Reticulum, Sculptor, Tucana, Volans
Roll mouse over picture to see constellation outlines
Image and text ©2008 Akira Fujii/David Malin Images.

In the picture above north is to the left and the image covers 79.1 x 98.9 degrees.
Image centre is located at 03:15:55.2, -47:48:45 (H:M:S, D:M:S, J2000) Astrometric data from Astrometry.net.

Horologium, Phoenix, Pictor and the south celestial pole
These constellations are best seen in the early evening between November and February

This wide angle image includes Horologium, Phoenix and Pictor, insignificant constellations roughly centred on an arc of delination 50° south, but at a scale too small to show the star identifications and stick figures. As more suitable images become available these constellations will have their own pages.

Horologium, the Pendulum Clock (originally l'Horloge and then Horologium Oscillitorium), was a constellation introduced by Abb Nicolas Louis de Lacaille during his stay at the Cape of Good Hope between 1751 and 1752. It was named to honor Christian Huygens as the inventor of this type of clock, but the idea for such a method of regulating time came from Galileo. Lacaille's constellation drawing shows a remarkably detailed dial, weights and a pendulum that has little apparent connection with the scattering of faint stars in this part of the sky. There are no named stars and little else in Horologium to attract the eye of the casual observer.

Phoenix, the Phoenix, is a long-lived mythological, eagle-like bird with vivid plumage. The word has entered the language as an entity that is able to resurrect itself after a firey death in its nest. The cycle of death and rebirth may have symbolised the rising and setting of the Sun. On the sky Phoenix is hemmed in on two sides by other birds in Grus and Tucana and a large snake in the form of Eridanus. The constellation was invented by the Dutch navigators Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser and Frederick de Houtman, and first appeared in Johan Beyer's altas of 1603. The only named star in Phoenix is Ankaa (α Phe).

Pictor was also named by Lacaille during his sojourn at the Cape of Good Hope. He originally called it le Chevalet et la Palette, the easel and palette and later Equuleus Pictorius, soon shortened to Pictor. It requires the imagination of an artist to find anything like an easle here. The constellation runs between Canopus and the Large Magellanic Cloud and is devoid of named stars.

Constellations adjoining Horologium Caelum, Dorado, Eridanus, Hydrus, Reticulum.
Constellations adjoining Phoenix       Eridanus, Fornax, Grus, Sculptor, Tucana.
Constellations adjoining Pictor          Caelum, Carina, Columba, Dorado, Puppis, Volans,

Image contains all the constellations of:
Caelum, Columba, Dorado, Fornax, Grus, Horologium, Hydrus, Mensa, Phoenix, Pictor, Piscis Austrinus, Reticulum, Sculptor, Tucana, Volans.


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David Malin, 2015 February 27.