Thursday 18 June 2020

Astrognome A-Z of Constellations # 53 Mensa

Mensa the Table Mountain - Southern Hemisphere
A constellation introduced by Lacaille in the 1750s. It is a southern hemisphere group and celebrates the Table Mountain at the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa from where he observed the night sky. Part of the Large Magellanic Cloud strays from the neighbouring constellation of Dorado the Goldfish, over the border into Mensa possibly reminding Lacaille of the cloud that frequently covers the real Table Mountain.
Unfortunately the constellation is very faint and unimportant.
The brightest star is alpha which at only magnitude 5.1 can be masked by any mist or moonlight. Alpha is a G7 class star, 33 light years away.

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