|Pronunciation||//, genitive //|
|Right ascension||04h 19.5m to 05h 05.1m|
|Declination||−27.02° to −48.74°|
|Area||125 sq. deg. (81st)|
|Stars with planets||1|
|Stars brighter than 3.00m||0|
|Stars within 10.00 pc (32.62 ly)||0|
|Brightest star||α Cae (4.45m)|
|Nearest star||HD 30876
(57.87 ly, 17.75 pc)
|Visible at latitudes between +40° and −90°.
Best visible at 21:00 (9 p.m.) during the month of January.
Caelum // is a faint constellation in the southern sky, introduced in the 1750s by Nicolas Louis de Lacaille. Its name means "the chisel" in Latin, and it was formerly known as Caelum Scalptorium, "the engraver's chisel". It is the eighth smallest constellation, and subtends a solid angle of around 0.038 steradians, just less than that of Corona Australis.
Due to its small size and location away from the plane of the Milky Way, Caelum is a rather barren constellation, with few objects of interest. The constellation's brightest star, Alpha Caeli, is only of magnitude 4.45, and only one other star (Gamma1 Caeli) is brighter than magnitude 5. Other notable objects in Caelum are RR Caeli, a binary star with one planet approximately 17.75 parsecs (57.9 ly) away; X Caeli, which forms an optical double with Gamma1 Caeli; and HE0450-2958, a Seyfert galaxy that at first appeared as just a jet with no host galaxy visible.
Caelum was first introduced in the eighteenth century by Nicolas Louis de Lacaille, a French astronomer who also introduced thirteen other southern constellations at the same time. While the constellation was originally romanized to Caelum Scalptorium, Francis Baily shortened this name to Caelum after suggestion by John Herschel. In Lacaille's original chart, the constellation was recognized as burin and an échoppe, although it has come to be recognized simply as a chisel. Bode depicted it as plural, Caela Scalptoris, but this was not taken up.
Caelum is bordered by Dorado and Pictor to the south, Horologium and Eridanus to the east, Lepus to the north, and Columba to the west. Covering 125 square degrees, it ranks eighty-first of the 88 constellations in size. It appears prominently in the southern sky during the Southern Hemisphere's summer. Its main asterism consists of 4 stars. The constellation's boundaries, as set by Eugène Delporte in 1930, are defined by a 12-sided polygon. In the equatorial coordinate system, the right ascension coordinates of these borders lie between 04h 19.5m and 05h 05.1m, while the declination coordinates are between −27.02° and −48.74°. The International Astronomical Union (IAU) adopted the three-letter abbreviation "Cae" for the constellation in 1922.
Caelum is a faint constellation, having no star brighter than fourth magnitude. Lacaille labelled the stars Alpha to Zeta in 1756, but omitted Epsilon. Bode extended them to Rho but all fell out of use.
The brightest star, Alpha Caeli, is a double star, contains an F-type main-sequence star of magnitude 4.45 and a red dwarf of magitude 12.5, 20.17 parsecs (65.8 ly) from Earth. Beta Caeli, another F-type star of magnitude 5.05, is slightly further at a distance of 28.67 parsecs (93.5 ly) from Earth. Unlike Alpha, Beta Caeli is a subgiant star, slightly evolved from the main-sequence. Delta Caeli, also of magnitude 5.05, is a B-type subgiant and is much farther from earth, at 216 parsecs (700 ly).
Gamma1 Caeli is a double star with an red giant primary of magnitude 4.58 and a secondary of magnitude 8.1. The primary is 55.59 parsecs (181.3 ly) from Earth. The two components are difficult to resolve with small amateur telescopes because of their difference in visual magnitude and their close separation. This star system forms an optical double with the unrelated X Caeli, also known as Gamma2 Caeli, a Delta Scuti variable located 98.33 parsecs (320.7 ly) from Earth. These are a class of short period (six hours at most) pulsating stars that have been used as standard candles and as subjects to study astroseismology. The only other variable star in Caelum visible to the naked eye is RV Caeli, a pulsating red giant of spectral type M1III, which varies between magnitudes 6.44 and 6.56.
Three other stars in Caelum have Bayer designations, although they are only on the edge of naked-eye visibility. Nu Caeli is another double star, containing a white giant of magnitude 6.07 and another star of magnitude 10.66. The system is approximately 52.55 parsecs (171.4 ly) away. Lambda Caeli, at magnitude 6.24, is much redder and farther away, being a red giant around 227 parsecs (740 ly) from Earth. Zeta Caeli is even fainter, being only of magnitude 6.36. This star, located 132 parsecs (430 ly) away, is a K-type subgiant of spectral type K1.
One of the nearest stars in Caelum is the eclipsing binary star RR Caeli, at a distance of 20.13 parsecs (65.7 ly). This star system consists of a dim red dwarf in orbit around a white dwarf. Despite its closeness to the Earth, the system's apparent magnitude is only 14.40 due to the faintness of its components. In 2012, the system was found to also contain a giant planet, and there is evidence for a second substellar body as well. The system is also a post-common-envelope binary, and the red dwarf star is transferring material onto the white dwarf. In approximately 9-20 billion years, the system will likely become a cataclysmic variable star due to the period's gradual shortening.
Due to its small size and location away from the plane of the Milky Way, Caelum is rather devoid of deep-sky objects, and contains no Messier objects. Two galaxies somewhat of note are NGC 1571, a lenticular galaxy, and NGC 1679, a barred spiral galaxy with a spectrum containing emission lines. The only deep-sky object in Caelum to receive much attention is HE0450-2958, an unusual Seyfert galaxy. Originally, the jet's host galaxy proved elusive to find, and this jet appeared to be emanating from nothing. Although it has been suggested that the object is an ejected supermassive black hole, the host is now agreed to be a small galaxy that is difficult to see due to light from the jet and a nearby starburst galaxy.
- Ridpath, Ian; Tirion, Wil (2001). Stars and Planets Guide. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-08913-2.
- "Caelum, Constellation Boundary". The Constellations (International Astronomical Union). Retrieved 14 January 2014.
- Ridpath, Ian. "Caelum". Star Tales.
- Ridpath, Ian. "Lacaille". Star Tales.
- Wagman, Morton (2003). Lost Stars: Lost, Missing and Troublesome Stars from the Catalogues of Johannes Bayer, Nicholas Louis de Lacaille, John Flamsteed, and Sundry Others. Blacksburg, VA: The McDonald & Woodward Publishing Company. pp. 58–59. ISBN 978-0-939923-78-6.
- Russell, H. N. (1922). "The New International Symbols for the Constellations". Popular Astronomy 30: 469–71. Bibcode:1922PA.....30..469R.
- "* Alpha Caeli – Star in double system". SIMBAD. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
- "GJ 174.1 B – Flare star". SIMBAD. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
- "LTT 2063 – High proper-motion Star". SIMBAD. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
- "* Delta Caeli – Star". SIMBAD. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
- "* Gamma Caeli – Star". SIMBAD. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
- "V* X Caeli – Variable Star of Delta Scuti type". SIMBAD. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
- Templeton, Matthew (16 July 2010). "Delta Scuti and the Delta Scuti Variables". Variable Star of the Season. AAVSO (American Association of Variable Star Observers). Retrieved 2 February 2014.
- "V* RV Caeli – Pulsating variable Star". SIMBAD. Retrieved 17 January 2013.
- Watson, Christopher (25 August 2009). "RV Caeli". AAVSO Website. American Association of Variable Star Observers. Retrieved 3 February 2014.
- Ashland Astronomy Studio: Where Art and Science Converge. "Nu Caeli (HIP 22488)". Retrieved 15 January 2014.
- "HR 1557 – Star in double system". SIMBAD. Retrieved 15 January 2013.
- "CD-41 1593B – Star in double system". SIMBAD. Retrieved 15 January 2013.
- Ashland Astronomy Studio: Where Art and Science Converge. "Lambda Caeli (HIP 21998)". Retrieved 15 January 2014.
- "HR 1518 – Star". SIMBAD. Retrieved 15 January 2013.
- "Zeta Caeli – Star". SIMBAD. Retrieved 15 January 2013.
- "V* RR Caeli – Eclipsing binary of Algol type (detached)". SIMBAD. Retrieved 15 January 2013.
- Bruch, A.; Diaz, M. P. (1998). "The Eclipsing Precataclysmic Binary RR Caeli". The Astronomical Journal 116 (2): 908. doi:10.1086/300471.
- Qian, S. -B.; Liu, L.; Zhu, L. -Y.; Dai, Z. -B.; Fernández Lajús, E.; Baume, G. L. (2012). "A circumbinary planet in orbit around the short-period white dwarf eclipsing binary RR Cae". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters 422: L24. doi:10.1111/j.1745-3933.2012.01228.x.
- Maxted, P. F. L.; O'Donoghue, D.; Morales-Rueda, L.; Napiwotzki, R.; Smalley, B. (2007). "The mass and radius of the M-dwarf in the short-period eclipsing binary RR Caeli". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 376 (2): 919–928. arXiv:astro-ph/0702005. Bibcode:2007MNRAS.376..919M. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2007.11564.x.
- "NGC 1571 – Galaxy in Group of Galaxies". SIMBAD. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
- "NGC 1679 – Emission-line galaxy". SIMBAD. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
- Magain, P.; Letawe, G. R.; Courbin, F. D. R.; Jablonka, P.; Jahnke, K.; Meylan, G.; Wisotzki, L. (2005). "Discovery of a bright quasar without a massive host galaxy". Nature 437 (7057): 381–384. doi:10.1038/nature04013. PMID 16163349.
- Haehnelt, M. G.; Davies, M. B.; Rees, M. J. (2006). "Possible evidence for the ejection of a supermassive black hole from an ongoing merger of galaxies". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters 366: L22. doi:10.1111/j.1745-3933.2005.00124.x.
- Feain, I. J.; Papadopoulos, P. P.; Ekers, R. D.; Middelberg, E. (2007). "Dressing a Naked Quasar: Star Formation and Active Galactic Nucleus Feedback in HE 0450−2958". The Astrophysical Journal 662 (2): 872. doi:10.1086/518027.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Caelum.|
- Starry Night Photography – Caelum Constellation
- Star Tales – Caelum
- Caelum Constellation at Constellation Guide