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The Air Pump

Antlia is a small constellation in the southern hemisphere. It was one of fourteen new constellations in the southern sky, introduced by French astronomer Nicolas-Louis de Lacaille in 1763.
For a brief overview of the main stars of the constellation, click the Astronomy icon.

For an alphabetic listing of the constellation's main object in different cultures, click the Index icon.

In 1750, French astronomer Nicolas-Louis de Lacaille set up a small observatory at the southern tip of Africa, the Cape of Good Hope. Here, within four years, he observed 9,766 stars.

Lacaille returned to France in 1754. His catalogue, called Coelum Australe Stelliferum was published in 1763.

It contained fourteen new constellations. One of them was named after the Table Mount on which Lacaille's observatory was located; the other thirteen symbolized the Age of Enlightenment.
In the first 1756 version of his Planisphere, de Lacaille called the Antlia constellation la Machine Pneumatique (the Pneumatic Machine). In his 1763 star chart, he Latinised the name to Antlia pneumatica.

In 1844, following a suggestion by English astronomer John Herschel, the name was further shortened to Antlia.
Antlia in Uranographia; Source: Antlia in Urania's Mirror; Source: Wikipedia
De Lacaille pictured the constellation as a a single-cylinder air pump like the one invented by French physicist Denis Papin.

However, in 1801, when German astronomer Johann Elert Bode published his star catalogue Uranographia, he used a more sophisticated double-barrelled air pump like the one invented in 1705 by English scientist Francis Hauksbee - a picture that was later universally adopted as the depiction of this constellation.

Sources: Wikipedia, Ian Ridpath, University of St. Andrews,
Denis Papin and his air pump design

Ancient Greece

The stars of Antlia were visible in Greece, but were too faint to draw any attentions. They were a small, unrecognized part of the Greek constellation Argo Navis.

Source: Wikipedia

Ancient China

In Chinese, Antlia is written 唧 筒 座.

The stars of Antli are visible in China. They are part of two Lunar Mansions, both located in the quadrant of the Vermilion Bird of the South.

ι Antliae together with some of the stars of Vela was part of an asterism called Dōngoū. This formation belonged to the 27th Lunar Mansion, called (翼宿), the Wing.

Chinese asterisms in Antlia; Map based on

Dōngoū was an ancient kingdom in southeastern China, an area said to be inhabited by barbarians.

Sources: Wikipedia, Ian Ridpath

The coast of Dōngoū; source: Preussischer Kulturbesitz Berlin

ε, η and θ Antliae were part of Tiānmiào, the Celestial Temple, a temple dedicated to the Emperor’s ancestors. Most of this asterism lies in the constellation Pyxis.

The asterism is part of the 26th Lunar Mansion, called Zhāng (张宿), the Extended Net.

Sources: Wikipedia, Ian Ridpath
Temple of the Heavens in Beijing
Source: Wikipedia

In the 2019 NameExoWorld project, in which each country on earth could name one star and one exoplanet, the first star (and planet) in the constellation Antlia received a proper name.

Colombia chose One Hundred Years of Solitude, a world-famous novel written in 1967 by Nobel-Price Laureate Gabriel García Márquez, to name the star HD 93083 and its planet HD 93083 b.

HD 93083 was named Macondo after the mythical village of the novel. Macondo is a fictional place where magic and reality are mixed.

Planet HD 93083 b was named Melquíades, after a Gypsy character who returned to Macondo every year, circling the village like a planet.

Source: NameExoWorlds Approved Names
Cien años de soledad

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