Phoenix (constellation)

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Phoenix is a minor constellation in the southern sky. It is named after the Phoenix, a mythical bird. It is faint: there are only two stars in the whole constellation which are brighter than magnitude 5.0. Alpha Phoenicis is named Ankaa, an Arabic word meaning 'the boat'.

The constellation stretches from roughly −39° to −57° declination, and from 23.5h to 2.5h of right ascension. This means it is generally invisible to anyone living north of the 40th parallel in the Northern Hemisphere, and remains low in the sky for anyone living north of the equator. It is easily visible from locations such as Australia and South Africa during Southern Hemisphere summer.

Phoenix was one of twelve constellations created by Petrus Plancius from the observations of Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser and Frederick de Houtman and it first appeared on a 35-cm diameter celestial globe published in 1597 (or 1598) in Amsterdam by Plancius with Jodocus Hondius. The first depiction of this constellation in a celestial atlas was in Johann Bayer's Uranometria of 1603.

Phoenix is associated with the minor Phoenicids meteor shower of December 5.


External links

Coordinates: Sky map 00h 00m 00s, −50° 00′ 00″

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