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The Centaur

Centaurus is a bright constellation in the southern sky. It is one of the largest constellations and was one of the 48 original Ptolemaic Constellations.

The two brightest stars in the constellation have given names but are more popular by their Bayer designations as Alpha Centauri and Beta Centauri. In the southern hemisphere they are known as the "pointer stars" as they help observers find the constellation Crux.

Alpha Centauri, the brightest star in the constellation is actually a triple-star system which includes Proxima Centauri, at a distance of 4.2 light-years the star closest to our sun.
Centaurus in the Night Sky
This section describes the constellation as it is seen in the night sky.

For myth and star lore about Centaurus, click here.

Star maps based on map provided by Sea & Sky


Number Desig-
Number Desig-
1 α Cen A Rigil Kentaurus
8 δ Ma Wei
1 α Cen B Toliman
9 ι Alhakim
1 α Cen C Proxima Centauri
10 κ Ke Kwan
2 β Hadar (Beta Centauri)
11 ν Nu Centauri
3 θ Menkent
12 μ Mu Centauri
4 γ Muhlifain
13 π Pi Centauri
5 ε Epsilon Centauri
14 σ Sigma Centauri
6 η Eta Centauri
15 ρ Rho Centauri
7 ζ Alnair
16 ο Omicron Centauri

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