List of stars in Musca
|Right ascension||12.456 h|
|Area||138 sq. deg. (77th)|
|Stars with planets||1|
|Stars brighter than 3.00m||1|
|Stars within 10.00 pc (32.62 ly)||1|
|Brightest star||α Mus (2.69m)|
|Nearest star||Gliese 440
(15.07 ly, 4.62 pc)
Musca (Latin: fly) is one of the minor southern constellations. The constellation was one of twelve constellations created by Petrus Plancius from the observations of Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser and Frederick de Houtman and it first appeared on a 35-cm diameter celestial globe published in 1597 (or 1598) in Amsterdam by Petrus Plancius and Jodocus Hondius. The first depiction of this constellation in a celestial atlas was in Johann Bayer's Uranometria of 1603.
The soft X-ray transient Nova Muscae 1991 is a binary object consisting of a star and a black hole. During the 1991 outburst which led to its discovery, radiation was produced through a process of positron annihilation. Musca also contains the unusual planetary nebula NGC 5189, located about 3,000 light years from earth. Its uniquely complex structure resembles a miniature crab nebula. Also within the constellation is the Hourglass Nebula (MyCn 18) at a distance of about 8,000 light years. The comparatively old globular cluster NGC 4833 near Delta Muscae is 21,200 light years distant and somewhat obscured by dust clouds near the galactic plane. The globular cluster NGC 4372 near Gamma Muscae is fainter and likewise partially obscured by dust, but spans more arc minutes.
Musca, under its original name Apis – the Bee, was introduced in the late 16th century by Isaac Bautista to fill the previously uncharted area around the southern pole and to provide nourishment for the nearby constellation Chamaeleon (17th-century celestial maps clearly show the chameleon's tongue trying to catch the insect). In 1752 Nicolas Louis de Lacaille renamed it to Musca Australis, the Southern Fly – Australis, since it counterparted the now discarded constellation of Musca Borealis composed of a few stars in Aries, and to avoid confusion with Apus. Today the name is simply Musca.
- Horvatin, Shane. "Obsolete Constellations: Apis". Retrieved 10 July 2012.
- Ridpath, Ian; Tirion, Wil (2007), Stars and Planets Guide, Princeton University Press, ISBN 978-0-691-13556-4
- Hamilton, Thomas W. (1968), Useful Star Names, Viewlex
- The Deep Photographic Guide to the Constellations: Musca
- Starry Night Photography: Musca
- Star Tales – Musca
Media related to Musca at Wikimedia Commons