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Centaurus

Quick Facts

Name:Centaurus
sen-TAW-russ
Meaning:Centaur
Abbreviation:Cen
Genitive:Centauri
Visible in Latitudes:45° thru -90°
Viewing Season:Spring
Best Seen In:March, 9:00 pm
Transit Date:May 2
Right Ascension:13.13 hours
Declination:-46.0 degrees
Area:1060.422 sq. degrees

Star Diagram

Star Diagram: Centaurus

About Centaurus

Of the several stories of centaurs in Greek mythology, it is generally thought that this constellation refers to Chiron, the king of the centaurs. Chiron was the son of Chronos and Philyra, the sea nymph. Philyra was sometimes drawn with Chrion on early maps of the celestial sphere. Chiron is credited for first leading the mortals to righteousness by teaching them to tell the truth.

In early drawings of this constellation, two centaurs are shown; the other one is thought to be Pholos. Chiron was the inventor of the constellations; he was proficient in music, botany, astronomy, devination and medicine, and was the teacher of Archilles. Pholos was the teacher of Hercules. Hercules accidently killed his friend Pholos with one of his posion-tipped arrows, and during the meelee, he accidently wounded Chiron. Since Chiron was immortal, he could not die from his wounds, and was in such pain and agony that Prometeus offered to exchange his immortality so that Chiron could find peace. Zeus placed Chiron in the sky.

Named Stars

 
NameStar
Rigel KentaurusAlpha Cen
HadarBeta Cen

Neighboring Constellations

AntliaCrux
AraHydra
CarinaLupus
CircinusMusca
©2016 Bot Productions. All rights reserved.Last Updated: December 8, 2000