Definitions for octans
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word octans
the constellation that includes the southern celestial pole
A small circumpolar constellation of the southern sky, said to resemble an octant. It lies closest to the southern celestial pole of any constellation.
Origin: Named by the French astronomer Nicolas Louis de Lacaille in 1763. From octans, an "octant"
Octans is a faint constellation of the southern sky. Its name is Latin for the eighth part of a circle, but it is named after the octant, a navigational instrument. The constellation was devised by Nicolas Louis de Lacaille in the eighteenth century. Octans is notable as the location of the south celestial pole. Unlike the north pole, it has no bright pole star: Sigma Octantis is a naked-eye star very close to the pole, but it is so faint that it is practically useless for navigation purposes. Conveniently for navigators, the constellation Crux, the Southern Cross, points toward the pole. The constellation is circumpolar to the south celestial pole, so it can be seen in Southern Hemisphere skies during the evening in any month of the year. The Right Ascension and month of best visibility given are for the three brightest stars, which are at their highest in the sky during the evening in November.
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