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Piscis Austrinus

piscis austrinus, piscis austrinus constellation
Piscis Austrinus also known as Piscis Australis is a constellation in the southern celestial hemisphere The name is Latin for "the southern fish", in contrast with the larger constellation Pisces, which represents a pair of fishes Prior to the 20th century, it was also known as Piscis Notius Its only star brighter than fourth magnitude is Fomalhaut, which is a first-magnitude star and is the eighteenth-brightest star in the night sky

Piscis Austrinus was one of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd-century astronomer Ptolemy, and it remains one of the 88 modern constellations The stars of the modern constellation Grus once formed the "tail" of Piscis Austrinus In 1597 or 1598, Petrus Plancius carved out a separate constellation and named it after the crane

Piscis Austrinus can be seen cut off at the bottom of Urania's Mirror's 1825 depiction of Aquarius Next to it is the obsolete constellation Ballon Aerostatique

In Greek mythology, this constellation is known as the Great Fish and it is portrayed as swallowing the water being poured out by Aquarius, the water-bearer constellation The two fish of the constellation Pisces are said to be the offspring of the Great Fish In Egyptian mythology, this fish saved the life of the Egyptian goddess Isis, so she placed this fish and its descendants into the heavens as constellations of stars1


  • 1 Origins
  • 2 Characteristics
  • 3 Notable features
  • 4 References
  • 5 External links


Pisces Austrinus originated with the Babylonian constellation simply known as the Fish MULKUcitation needed Professor of astronomy Bradley Schaefer has proposed that ancient observers must have been able to see as far south as Mu Piscis Austrini to define a pattern that looked like an fish2


Piscis Austrinus is a constellation bordered by Capricornus to the northwest, Microscopium to the southwest, Grus to the south, Sculptor to the east, Aquarius to the north The recommended three-letter abbreviation for the constellation, as adopted by the International Astronomical Union in 1922, is 'PsA'3 The official constellation boundaries, as set by Eugène Delporte in 1930, are defined by a polygon of four segments In the equatorial coordinate system, the right ascension coordinates of these borders lie between 21h 273m and 23h 065m, while the declination coordinates are between -2483° and -3646°4

Notable featuresedit

The constellation Piscis Austrinus as it can be seen by the naked eye

Fomalhaut traditionally represents the mouth of the fish Its companion Fomalhaut b was thought to be the first extrasolar planet ever detected by a visible light image, thanks to the Hubble Space Telescope, but infrared observations have since retracted this claim: it is instead a spherical cloud of dust TW Piscis Austrini can be seen close by and is possibly associated with Fomalhaut as it lies within a light-year of it Of magnitude 65, it is a BY Draconis variable5

Beta, Delta and Zeta constitute the Tien Kang "heavenly rope" in China6 Beta is a white star of apparent magnitude 429 and spectral type A0, and lies 130 light-years away7 Delta Piscis Austrini is a double star with components of magnitude 42 and 925

S Piscis Austrini is a long-period Mira-type variable red giant which ranges between magnitude 80 and 145 over a period of 2717 days, and V Piscis Austrini is a semi-regular variable ranging between magnitudes 80 and 90 over 148 days5

Lacaille 9352 is a faint red dwarf star which is a mere 1074 light-years away At magnitude 734, it is too dim to be seen with the naked eye

NGC 7172, NGC 7174 and NGC 7314 are three galaxies of magnitudes 119, 125 and 109, respectively5


  1. ^ Eratosthenes; Hyginus, C Julius 1997 Star myths of the Greeks and Romans: a sourcebook containing the Constellations of Pseudo-Eratosthenes and the Poetic astronomy of Hyginus Translated by Condos, Theony Red Wheel/Weiser pp 163–164 ISBN 1-890482-93-5 
  2. ^ Schaefer, Bradley E 2002 "The latitude and epoch for the formation of the southern Greek constellations" Journal for the History of Astronomy 33, part 4 113: 313–50 Bibcode:2002JHA33313S ISSN 0021-8286 
  3. ^ Russell, Henry Norris 1922 "The new international symbols for the constellations" Popular Astronomy 30: 469 Bibcode:1922PA30469R 
  4. ^ "Piscis Austrinus, constellation boundary" The Constellations International Astronomical Union Retrieved 20 August 2012 
  5. ^ a b c d Moore, Patrick 2011 Patrick Moore's Data Book of Astronomy Cambridge University Press p 472 ISBN 0521899354 
  6. ^ Richard Hinckley Allen: Star Names — Their Lore and Meaning: Piscis Australis, the Southern Fish
  7. ^ Kaler, Jim 12 November 2009 "Beta PsA" 
  • Ian Ridpath and Wil Tirion 2007 Stars and Planets Guide, Collins, London ISBN 978-0-00-725120-9 Princeton University Press, Princeton ISBN 978-0-691-13556-4

External linksedit

  • The Deep Photographic Guide to the Constellations: Piscis Austrinus
  • Star Tales – Piscis Austrinus
  • Warburg Institute Iconographic Database over 150 medieval and early modern images of Piscis Austrinus - Piscis magnus

Coordinates: 22h 00m 00s, −30° 00′ 00″

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Piscis Austrinus

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