The American Association of Amateur Astronomers
Mensa - The Table
Mensa is one of the 15 circumpolar constellations in the southern hemisphere.
It was officially named in honor of Table Mountain in Cape Town, by the French
astronomer Abbe Nicholas Louis de Lacaille in 1763, during his survey of the
southern skies from South Africa.
Mensa is faint and barely
noticeable, and is notable because of the fact that it contains a part of the
Large Magellanic Cloud, most of which is actually located in the neighboring
constellation of Dorado.
South Celestial Pole: Octans,
Dorado, Tucana and Magellanic Clouds
Photo copyright Ed Flaspoehler
- La Serena, Chile, 1986
Click on image for a larger view.
This wide angle, 28-mm
photographic image of the South Celestial Pole covers a lot of territory.
In the upper center is the
constellation Octans and the pole itself. To the upper left of
Octans, you can
make out the stars in the constellation Apus.
Just below and left of center is
the Small Magellanic Cloud in Tucana. Look carefully, and you can easily see the
bright globular cluster, 47 Tucanae.
Right of center is the much
larger and brighter Large Magellanic Cloud in Dorado and Mensa. You can easily
make out NGC 2070, the Tarantula Nebula, in the LMC.
Both the LMC and the SMC are
elliptical galaxies which are satellite companions to our own Milky Way Galaxy.
The bright triangle of
be found nestled between the two Magellanic clouds.
Above the LMC is the
constellation Volans. On the far right you will find the bright star
the constellation Carina. Directly above
Volans, you can make out the
Click on the image to get an
enlarged view, and refer to a good star chart to help you pick out these various
constellations and features of the beautiful area surrounding the South
Deep Sky Objects in Mensa
The following objects are on the Astronomical League's Southern Sky Binocular List
There are no Deep Sky Objects in Mensa
Photos and Text © Copyright Edward P. Flaspoehler, Jr.
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EDITOR: Edward P. Flaspoehler, Jr.
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