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Ara (constellation)

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List of stars in Ara
Abbreviation: Arae
Genitive: Apodis
Right ascension: 17.39 h
Declination: −53.58°
Area: 237 sq. deg. (63rd)
Main stars: 8
Bayer/Flamsteed stars: 17
Stars known to have planets: 7
Bright stars: 2
Nearby stars: 3
Brightest star: β Ara (2.84m)
Nearest star: Gliese 674 ( ly)
Messier objects: None
Meteor showers: None
Bordering constellations:
Visible at latitudes between +25° and −90°
Best visible at 21:00 (9 p.m.) during the month of July
Ara Constellation chart

Ara is a constellation in the southern sky. Ara means altar in Latin. It was one of the 48 constellations written down by the astronomer named Ptolemy in the 2nd century. It is also one of the 88 modern constellations that were made by the International Astronomical Union.[1]

In Greek mythology, Ara is the altar where Zeus and his brothers and sisters said that they were going to win in a war against Cronos and the other Titans.[2] It is also where people burned incense to show that they appreciated Zeus.[3] The Greek poet named Aratus said that if sailors could see the constellation Ara, it meant that there was going to be wind blowing from the south.

The Stingray Nebula is in Ara. It is the planetary nebula that was created most recently.[4]

NGC 6193 is an open cluster at about 3,765 light-years away from Earth.


  1. "ARA". Harvard. Retrieved 27 Jan 2013.
  2. Ridpath, Ian. "Ara: The Altar". Star Tales. Retrieved 28 Jan 2013.
  3. "Ara". Peoria Astronomical Society. Retrieved 28 Jan 2013.
  4. "Stingray Nebula". Image of the Day Gallery. NASA. 23 Mar 2008. Retrieved 28 Jan 2013.