| CENTAURUS Chart | Midnight Culmination | Skylore | Description | Asterisms |
| Special Stars |

Constellation Data

  • Translation: Centaur (half horse, half man)
  • Abbreviation: Cen
  • Genitive: Centauri
  • Size: 9
  • Regions: Southern
  • RA: 13 hours
  • Decl: -50 degrees
  • Season: Fall
  • Midnight Culmination: 30 March
  • Pages where CENTAURUS is discussed in Chet Raymo's 365 Starry Nights: 64-65,66,113

What is the Genitive form?
What is Right Ascension (RA)?
Is this constellation ever visible from my latitude? What is Declination?

Where should I look for a constellation on a date before or after its midnight culmination? What is Midnight Culmination?


Don't miss the wonderful fantasy novel, Alpha Centauri, by Robert Siegel (Cornerstone/Crossway Books, 1980). Written in the spirit of C. S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia and Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time, Siegel has written an enchanting story of how ancient Britain and the fate of a race of benevolent centaurs on a planet near Alpha Centauri all become bound up with the choices of one little girl.


Partially visible only in March and April from 35 degrees north latitude. Until early modern times the Centaur included Crux, which now nestles underneath his body.

[star chart]

Star chart created with Voyager II Software for Macintosh, published by Carina Software. This is just a taste of what Voyager can do! For info on Voyager II software, call Carina Software at (510) 355-1266, write them at 12919 Alcosta Blvd Suite #7, San Ramon, CA 94583, or visit Carina Software's home page and check out Voyager II for yourself.


Southern Pointers

What is an Asterism?

Special Stars

Rigil Kentaurus, or Alpha Centauri, is the closest star system to our sun. It forms one of the forefeet of the Centaur, and a line from it through Hadar points to Crux. In 1689 it was discovered to be a binary star resolvable by telescope, and in 1915 a third star, located a fraction of a light year closer to us, was discovered and named Proxima Centauri. The two main components of Alpha Centauri are now known by spectroscopic evidence to be double stars, so there are actually five stars in this bright star system.

Hadar, a knee of the Centaur, is on a line from Alpha Centauri to Crux.

Table of 25 Brightest Stars.
What is apparent stellar magnitude?

[Small Logo] ©1997 Welcome to the Basic Celestial Phenomena web site. To provide explanations of basic observational astronomy to students, teachers, families, and visitors to planetariums these pages have been written by an ex-OBU Planetarium Director, Kerry Magruder; the OBU Natural Sciences Coordinator, Mike Keas; and some of the students who work in the OBU planetarium.

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