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Last updated on April 17, 2014 at 17:30 EDT

Centaurus Constellation

Centaurus Constellation — Centaurus (the centaur) was one of the 48 constellations listed by Ptolemy, and counts also among the 88 modern constellations.

A constellation of the southern hemisphere, mentioned by Eudoxus (4th century B.C.) and Aratus (3rd century B.C.), Ptolemy catalogued thirty-seven stars in it.

It contains Proxima Centauri, the red dwarf that is the nearest known star (other than the Sun) to Earth, as well as Alpha Centauri, which is a double star to which Proxima Centauri is apparently gravitationally bound. It also contains Omega Centauri, the brightest globular cluster in the sky.

According to Greek mythology, the constellation is Chiron who was a wise Centaur (half-man, half-horse) known as a tutor to Jason (the leader of the Argonauts), and tutor to Hercules (a demi-god).

Centaurus Constellation