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Centaurus, the centaur, was one of the 48 constellations listed by Ptolemy, and counts also among the 88 modern constellations. This southern constellation is one of the largest on the sky.


Meaning in Englishthe Centaur
Right ascension13 h
Visible to latitudeBetween 30° and -90°
On meridian9 p.m., May 20
- Total
Ranked 9th
1060 sq. deg.
Number of stars with
apparent magnitude < 3
Brightest star
- Apparent magnitude
Rigil Kentaurus (α Cen)
Meteor showers
Bordering constellations

Table of contents
1 Notable features
2 Notable deep sky objects
3 History
4 Mythology

Notable features

Centaurus is a bright constellation of the southern hemisphere.

It contains Proxima Centauri, a red dwarf that is the nearest known star (other than the Sun) to Earth, as well as Alpha Centauri, which is a triple star to which Proxima Centauri is apparently gravitationally bound.

Notable deep sky objects

It also contains Omega Centauri, the brightest globular cluster in the sky.

One of the deep-sky objects in Centaurus is the Boomerang nebula, the coldest location (1 kelvin, -272°C) known to science.


It was mentioned by Eudoxus (4th century B.C.) and Aratus (3rd century B.C.), Ptolemy catalogued thirty-seven stars in it.


According to Greek mythology, the constellation is Chiron who was a wise Centaur (half-man, half-horse) known as a tutor to Jason (the leader of the Argonauts), and tutor to Hercules (a demi-god).

Centaurus is a scientific journal.