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Tucana is a constellation in the southern sky, created in the late sixteenth century. Its name is Latin for the toucan, a South American bird.



The constellation was one of twelve 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.

Notable features


Beta Tucanae is in fact a group of six stars which appear to be at least loosely bound into a system. The two brightest of these, Beta-1 Tucanae and Beta-2 Tucanae, are 27 arcseconds apart and have magnitudes of between 4 and 5. They are (probably) accompanied by a third star, Beta-3 Tucanae, which is further away, separated by 9 arcminutes from them.

Kappa Tucanae is a group of four stars: two binary stars.

Lambda Tucanae is an optical double - that is, the name is give to two stars which appear close together from our viewpoint, but are in fact far apart in space. The two stars are known as Lambda 1 and Lambda 2. Lambda 1 is itself a binary star, with two components.

Deep sky objects

At the southern end of Tucana lies the Small Magellanic Cloud. The globular cluster 47 Tucanae (NGC 104) is also located within its boundaries, as is the Tucana Dwarf galaxy, which was discovered in 1990. NGC 346 is also star forming region.


External links

Coordinates: Sky map 00h 00m 00s, −65° 00′ 00″

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