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Octans is a faint constellation 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 (σ Oct) is a naked-eye star very close to the pole, but it is so faint (mag. 5.6) that it is practically useless for navigation purposes. Fortunately, 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.

Octans in Military

USS Octans (AF-26) is once of United States navy ship.


External links

Coordinates: Sky map 22h 00m 00s, −90° 00′ 00″

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