A R A
Mythology & history
Altar or altar, austral constellation introduced by Tolomeo of the 48 old ones that actually represented the prolongation of the constellation of the Scorpion.
Altar was visible twenty centuries ago for the cultures of the Mediterranean and Mesopotamia, but due to the precession of the equinoxes the constellation is had progressively displaced towards the south becoming an austral and invisible circumpolar constellation for the zone of the Mediterranean cultures.
Referring to their original design some antagonistic opinions exist that finally gave rise to an ardent Altar to which the Arabs transformed into incendiary.
Altar, is a small and very pretty constellation located in a zone of the sky of latitude 50º austral next to the celestial South Pole. One is immersed in the Milky Way and therefore, is a rich constellation in stellar, globular clusters and formation stellar like doubles, although their stars are not indeed very shining. The best time to observe it is on the 22 local time during the month of July, visible in the austral hemisphere and until 30º of North latitude.
It limits the north with Scorpius, the east with Norm, the south with Triangulum Australe, Apus and Pavus and to the west with the constellations of Telescopium and Corona Australe.
To date, I have not been able to locate it to be in very austral latitudes from the island of Majorca where alive, although I do not discard to someday make a trip to the seas of the south, and to lose to me in an island of the desert Pacific to be able to contemplate and to locate the constellations that I have left to discover.
Alpha, a ; with a magnitude of 2.8 it is of blue color, spectral type B, is to 400 years light of us, is a star 750 times more luminous than the Sun, it's a spectrotipal binary, therefore only detectable with very precise and powerful apparatuses.
Beta, b ; with a magnitude of 2.82, it is of orange color. Light is to 600 years and is very luminous, is a giant star 2,000 times more luminous than our Sun.
Gamma, g ; Altar is to 1º to the south of b, its magnitude is of 3.31, blue color, is to 1200 years light of us. It is a blue giant in formation and young person 5,000 times more luminous than the Sun.
Delta, d ; of magnitude 3.60 he is most austral in the structure of the altar, of blue color, is a double star whose secondary she is orange. Both are member of the stellar group of the Pleiads in their formation, that is to say, it formed in this stellar cluster and it is had displaced more of 150º in the celestial vault.
NGC 6397: Globular cluster of very great magnitude 5.70 formed by stars of magnitude 13, 20' of angular diameter. Light is to only 7,000 years and 11º to the south of the equator of the Milky Way.
NGC 6392: Globular cluster of magnitude 8.30 of 10' of angular diameter and magnitude 7,50. Light of us is to 25,000 years and 18º to the south of the equator of the Milky Way. It is formed by stars that oscillate between magnitude 14 and 17.
To date observations by telescope have not been made since it is located in the South hemisphere, next to the celestial and invisible South Pole from where I write these lines to you, Majorca, Spain, although I do not discard to someday make a trip to the seas of the south, and to lose to me in an island of the Pacific to be able to contemplate and to locate the constellations that still I have left to discover.
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Masm (Last update 2003-10-24)