Corona Australis – The smallest constellation in the Southern sky
Among all the constellations in the sky, there is one small constellation called the Corona Australis; which means “the southern crown” because it is found in the southern sky. The Corona Australis is known to be one of the smallest and faint constellations in the sky, which is why regarding the size it is the 80th constellation. It has one brightest star in the constellation names the alpha coronae australis, while the nearest one is the HD 166348 which is at a distance of 42.26 light years from the earth. It is known to belong to the Hercules family of constellations along with a few other constellations like the Ara, Aquila, Centaurus, Corvus, Crater, Crux, Hydra, Lyra, Sagitta, Sextans, Serpens, and Triangulum Australe.
Location and deep sky objects of Corona Australis
The Corona Australis is located in the southern hemisphere’s third quadrant, at a latitude of +40 degrees and -90 degrees. This constellation is located between the two constellations names Sagittarius and the Scorpius. The Corona Australis has a few constellations neighboring it like the Ara, Telescopium, Sagittarius and the Scorpius.
There are several deep sky objects that can be found in Corona Australis like the:
- Corona Australis Nebula- This nebula is bright and some 420 years distant, which is formed by bright stars that are caught up in the dark, dusty cloud. This nebula consists of three more nebula regions, the NGC 6726, NGC6727 and NGC 6729.
- Corona cluster- This is a small cluster in the Corona Australia which is also 420 light years distant. This cluster is known to lie in the heart of the constellation.
Except for this the constellation also experiences a meteor shower.
The stars of Corona Australis
Some major stars can be found in the Corona Australis:
- Alpha coronae Australis- This is also known as the alphekka medridiana, which is a class A2V star and is 130 light years distant. This star got its name from the constellation Corona Borealis, and it is also the brightest star in the Corona Australis.
- Beta Coronae Australis- The Beta coronae Australis is a K-type star which is of a magnitude of 4.117 and is approximately 510 light years distant.
- R coronae Australia- Another star is the Corona Australis; it is some 26.8 light years distant from the earth. This is a Herbig ae/be star that is a pre-sequence star which is in its formation stage.
- RX J1856.5-3754- This is a neutron star which is located approximately 400 light years away from the earth. The RX J1856.5-3754 is a neutron star which is closest to the solar system, and this star was discovered in 1992.
It is said that the Southern Crown was a wreath and not a crown, and the Corona Australis was known to be a circle of stars. This is one of the myths that is associated with the Corona Australis constellation. Another myth says that this constellation is associated with the Dionysus which is known to represent the crown which was placed by the god in the sky after his mother was freed from the god of the underworld.