Tucana ( Latin: Toucan) is a southern constellation. The constellation was one of twelve constellations created by Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser and Frederick de Houtman between 1595 and 1597. Johann Bayer copied the twelve southern constellations from a Plancius/Hondius globe in his 1603 Uranometria star atlas.
The majority of the constellations were named after various beings that 16th century explorers had encountered (e.g. Bird of Paradise, Chameleon, Toucan, Flying Fish) and there is no earlier mythology associated with them.
Beta Tucanae is in fact a group of six stars which appear to be at least loosely bound into a system. The two brightest of these, Beta Tucanae A and Beta Tucanae C, are 27 arcminutes apart and have magnitudes of between 4 and 5.
Notable deep sky objects
At the southern end of Tucana lies the Small Magellanic Cloud. The globular cluster 47 Tucanae (NGC 104) is also located within its boundaries as the Tucana Dwarf galaxy, which was discovered in 1990.
* Ian Ridpath and Wil Tirion (2007). Stars and Planets Guide, Collins, London. ISBN 978-0007251209. Princeton University Press, Princeton. ISBN 978-0691135564.
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