List of stars in Octans
Abbreviation: Oct
Genitive: Octantis
Symbology: the Octant
Right ascension: 22 h
Declination: −90°
Area: 291 sq. deg. (50th)
Main stars: 3
Bayer/Flamsteed stars: 27
Stars known to have planets: 2
Bright stars: 0
Nearby stars: 0
Brightest star: ν Octantis (3.73m)
Nearest star: HD 212168 (75.2 ly)
Messier objects: 0
Meteor showers:  ?????
Bordering constellations: Tucana
Visible at latitudes between +0° and −90°
Best visible at 21:00 (9 p.m.) during the month of October

Octans ( Latin: eighth part of a circle, alluding to octant (instrument)) is an inconspicuous constellation introduced by Nicolas Louis de Lacaille. It is notable mainly as the location of the south celestial pole. Its star Sigma Octantis (σ Oct) is the closest naked-eye star to the pole, but it is so faint that it is practically useless as a polar star for navigation purposes. Fortunately, the constellation Crux, the Southern Cross, points at the pole.

The constellation is circumpolar to the South Celestial Pole, so it can be seen in Southern Hemisphere skies during the evening in any month of the year. The Right Ascension and month of best visibility given are for the three brightest stars, which are at their highest in the sky during the evening in November.


Since Octans was introduced in the 18th century, and lies near the southern pole, it was not known to classical or early cultures, and so they produced no mythology concerning it.


* 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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