Centaurus (The Centaur)
Centaurus (pronounced sɛnˈtɔːrəs) is the Latin name of a large constellation (in fact it extends itself for about 51 degrees across the sky) situated south of the celestial equator. As such, it is more easily visible from the southern hemisphere.
In English language this constellation is also known as "The Centaur" while in astronomical texts and literature this constellation is often abbreviated as "Cen" (according to the standard of the International Astronomical Union - IAU) or as "Cent" (according to a naming convention used by NASA).
The Latin genitive of the constellation name is "Centauri" (pronounced sɛnˈtɔːraɪ) and it is used to identify some of the brightest stars in this constellation based on the Bayer or Flamsteed star naming convention. For instance: α Centauri (the brightest star of Centaurus based on the Bayer catalog); or 23 Centauri (the 23th star in the constellation of Centaurus based on the Flamsteed catalog).
Sky chart of Centaurus from your location
Here we provide a simplified sky chart of the Centaurus constellation. Alternatively it is possible to locate Centaurus in the night sky using our Online Interactive Planetarium.
Visibility of Centaurus from your location
Centaurus is currently not visible from Greenwich, United Kingdom [change]
The rise and set times provided here are just directional indications and they refer to a point approximately placed at the center of the constellation. In case of very large constellations (like Centaurus actually is) these times can have little relevance.
Top bright stars in Centaurus
The table below lists the top 20 brightest stars in the Centaurus constellation. See also the complete list of 279 stars brighter than magnitude 6.5 (approximate) in the constellation of Centaurus. Click on each star to see more details about it.
|HR Number(*)||Star designation||Proper name||Visual magnitude||Color||Notes|
|HR5459||α1 Centauri||Rigil Kentaurus or Toliman||-0.01||⬤||Multiple;|
|HR5267||β Centauri||Hadar||0.61||⬤||Variable; Double;|
|HR5132||ε Centauri||2.3||⬤||Variable; Double;|
|HR4621||δ Centauri||2.6||⬤||Variable; Multiple;|
|HR5193||μ Centauri||3.04||⬤||Variable; Double;|
|HR5576||κ Centauri||3.13||⬤||Variable; Double;|
|...go to the complete list of 279 bright stars in the constellation of Centaurus|
(*) HR stands for Harvard Revised Bright Star Catalogue, which is also known as the Yale Catalogue of Bright Stars.
Top deep sky objects in Centaurus
The table below lists the 20 brightest deep sky objects in the Centaurus constellation. See also the complete list of 225 deep sky objects in the constellation of Centaurus. The list includes objects from the Messier, New General Catalogue (NGC) and Index Catalogue (IC).