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Circinus (The Compasses)

Circinus (pronounced ˈsɜːrsɪnəs) is the Latin name of a constellation 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 Compasses" while in astronomical texts and literature this constellation is often abbreviated as "Cir" (according to the standard of the International Astronomical Union - IAU) or as "Circ" (according to a naming convention used by NASA).

The Latin genitive of the constellation name is "Circini" (pronounced ˈsɜːrsɪnaɪ) 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 Circini (the brightest star of Circinus based on the Bayer catalog); or 23 Circini (the 23th star in the constellation of Circinus based on the Flamsteed catalog).

Circinus is below the horizon from Greenwich, United Kingdom [change].
Available Resources for Circinus

Sky chart of Circinus from your location

Here we provide a simplified sky chart of the Circinus constellation. Alternatively it is possible to locate Circinus in the night sky using our Online Interactive Planetarium.

Chart of  constellation
This constellation image is derivatve work based on original work by IAU and Sky & Telescope magazine (Roger Sinnott & Rick Fienberg) CC-BY-3.0.

Visibility of Circinus from your location

Location: Greenwich, United Kingdom [change]
Latitude: 51° 28’ 47” N
Longitude: 0° 00’ 00” E
Timezone: Europe/London

Circinus 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 these times can have little relevance.

Top bright stars in Circinus

The table below lists the top 20 brightest stars in the Circinus constellation. See also the complete list of 34 stars brighter than magnitude 6.5 (approximate) in the constellation of Circinus. Click on each star to see more details about it.

HR Number(*) Star designation Proper name Visual magnitude Color Notes
HR5463 α Circini 3.19 Variable; Double;
HR5670 β Circini 4.07
HR5704 γ Circini 4.51 Double;
HR5666 ε Circini 4.86
HR5664 δ Circini 5.09 Variable; Double;
HR5551 θ Circini 5.11 Variable; Double;
HR5593 η Circini 5.17
HR5546 5.2
HR5482 5.36 Double;
HR5680 5.46 Multiple;
HR5379 5.61
HR5700 5.67
HR5218 5.71
HR5661 5.73 Multiple;
HR5320 5.75 Double;
HR5194 5.75
HR5408 5.83 Double;
HR5391 5.85
HR5527 5.87 Variable;
HR5500 5.91 Multiple;
...go to the complete list of 34 bright stars in the constellation of Circinus

(*) HR stands for Harvard Revised Bright Star Catalogue, which is also known as the Yale Catalogue of Bright Stars.

Top deep sky objects in Circinus

The table below lists all the deep sky objects in the Circinus constellation. See also the complete list of 5 deep sky objects in the constellation of Circinus. The list includes objects from the Messier, New General Catalogue (NGC) and Index Catalogue (IC).

Name Type Magnitude
NGC 5823 Open Cluster 7.9 (V)
NGC 5715 Open Cluster 9.8 (V)
NGC 5315 Planetary Nebula 9.8 (V)
NGC 5288 Open Cluster 11.8 (V)
NGC 5359 Open Cluster N/A