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Socrates, 469 - 399 BC

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CORONA AUSTRALIS

The Southern Crown

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Corona Australis - Celestial Atlas by Alexander Jamieson - 1822

At the feet (hooves) of Sagittarius lies a crown of leaves. It is generally accepted that it is the crown of Sagittarius. In the second century AD, Ptolemy named it the "Southern Wreath". Now known as the Southern Crown, Corona Australis is a small but distinctive semicircle of stars, similar in shape, though not so bright, as Corona Borealis, the Northern Crown.

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Corona Australis - August 15, 10:00 PM - Latitude 30° North, Longitude 95° West



Stars of Corona Australis

Alfecca Meridiana (RA: 19h09m28.450s DE:-3754'17.56")

Alpha Coronae Australis is named Alfecca Meridiana, in deference to the Northern Crown's brightest star, "Alphecca". It is the only named star in the constellation, relatively unremarkable with a magnitude of only 4.10. Classified as a A2V white main sequence star, about 125 light years away.

Beta Coronae Australis (RA: 19h10m01.763s DE:-3920'27.43")

Beta Coronae Australis is right next door with an identical magnitude of 4.10, sharing the mantle of brightest star. There the similarity ends though, as this star is very much larger and farther away. Classified as a K0III orange giant, it is 510 light years away.


Planets of Corona Australis

HD 166724 (RA: 18h13m59.727s DE:-4234'32.55")

So far only one star in Corona Australis has been found to host a planet. The star is designated HD 166724, with a magnitude of 9.34, putting it beyond naked eye visibility. It is K0IV yellow/orange subgiant, 140 light years away, with a gas giant planet about four times the size of Jupiter. For more information on these and other extrasolar planets, visit NASA's New Worlds Atlas, and The Open Exoplanets Catalogue.

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Deep Skies of Corona Australis

NGC 6727 - Corona Australis Molecular Cloud (RA: 19h01m 42.0s DE:-3653'00")

Sitting right on the edge of the Milky Way, the star fields surrounding Corona Australis are rich with star clusters and nebulae. One area of high interest is a large area of dark dust and reflection/emission nebulae, collectively designated as NGC 6727, and sometimes referred to as the Corona Australis Molecular Cloud. It is an immense region of superheated gas, million mph shockwaves, and intense star formation.

The wide field image below shows the clumps and wispy tendrils of dark interstellar dust contained in NGC 6727 stretching dozens of light years through space. The dark, elongated patch near the center of the photo is more than eight light years long. The entire molecular cloud is about 400 light years away, relatively close compared to the globular star cluster (NGC 6723) in the upper right of the image (across the border in Sagittarius) which is over 28,000 light years away.

ngc6727-wide field-eso-an (332K)
NGC 6727 - European Southern Observatory, Chile - October, 2000

NGC 6729 - R Coronae Australis Nebula (RA: 19h01m 54.0s DE:-3657'00")

Up at the top end of the darkest dust cloud is an area of high luminosity labelled NGC 6729, and also known as the R Coronae Australis Nebula, after the newly formed variable star at its centre. The area contains the bright blue luminosities of NGC 6726, and IC 4812.

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NGC 6729 - European Southern Observatory, Chile - October, 2000

Finally, a detailed close-up view deep inside NGC 6729, showing intense activity, with billowing streams and swirling eddies of dust clouds, buffeted by the high energy shockwaves and gravitational fields generated by the violent birth of thousands of stars.

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NGC 6729 Interior - European Southern Observatory, Chile - October, 2000

NGC 6541 (RA: 18h08m00.0s DE:-4342'00")

Down in the opposite corner of the constellation, Corona Australis also contains a globular cluster, NGC 6541. With a magnitude of 6.3, it is a good target for a small telescope. It is about 20,000 light years away.

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NGC 6541 - Globular Cluster - Roberto Mura - November, 2007







Winter: Orion   Canis Major   Canis Minor   Monoceros   Lepus   Eridanus   Taurus   Auriga   Camelopardalis   Lynx   Gemini   Cancer  
Spring: Hydra   Sextans   Crater   Corvus   Leo   Leo Minor   Ursa Major   Ursa Minor   Canes Venatici   Coma Berenices   Virgo   Bootes  
Summer: Draco   Corona Borealis   Hercules   Ophiuchus   Serpens   Libra   Scorpius   Sagittarius   Scutum   Aquila   Sagitta   Vulpecula   Lyra   Cygnus  
Autumn: Andromeda   Perseus   Pegasus   Cassiopeia   Cepheus   Cetus   Lacerta   Delphinus   Equuleus   Capricornus   Aquarius   Pisces   Aries   Triangulum  
Southern Skies: Centaurus   Crux   Lupus   Corona Australis   Piscis Australis   Sculptor   Tucana   Fornax   Dorado   Columba   Puppis   Carina   Vela  

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