The Deep Photographic Guide to the

The constellation of the month

Centaurus, Circinus

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Latin: Centaurus (Cen), Circinus (Cir)
English: Centaur, Compass (Dividers) Spanish: Centauro, Compases
German: Zentaur, Zirkel French: Centaure, Compas
The above photography is centered on the two brightest stars of the southern constellation Centaurus, named Toliman (0.3 mag, left) and Agena (0.6 mag, right). The entire constellation extends further out to the north and in the direction of Crux (right). On the left hand side is the faint and small constellation of Circinus (see lines).

In mid of May Centaurus culminates at about 22:00 (10 pm) local time. The galactic equator is crossing our field of view with bright star clouds and in between dark fields of interstellar dust that obscure the background starlight, most prominent the so called Coal Sack (Crux, right). A lot of star clusters join this field (see the deep sky objects). At the upper right is the Globular Star Cluster Omega Centauri. It is the brightest Globular Cluster in the sky, whereas it appears too bright on the photography because of its large angular dimension of more than half a degree. To the naked eye it is a diffuse star of 3.6th magnitude.

© all photographs taken by Till Credner and Sven Kohle