Monoceros

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Abbreviation:  Mon
English Name:  The Unicorn
Genitive: Lucida
Hemisphere:  Northern and Southern Hemisphere. (Bold means the more area in square feet in Southern Hemisphere.)
Location: Between the constellations of Canis Minor and Orion.
Visible between latitudes:  +75 and -85 degrees
Best season: Late winter
Seen in three seasons: Autumn, Winter and Spring
Best seen in: March
Seen between: February and April
Right Ascension (RA): 07 hour
Declination (DEC): -05 degrees
Area (square degrees):  482 square degrees (35th)

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Monoceros (The Unicorn)

  • Monoceros is not very easily seen with the naked-eye, but often overlooked in favour of its glittering neighbouring constellations – specially Orion, but it lies in the Milky-Way.
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  • It contains some famous clusters and nebulae – Rosette Nebula, also the Open Cluster – Messier 50 (M50).
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  • Also the massive binary known as Plaskett’s Star.
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  • However, Monoceros does have some interesting features to observe with the aid of a small telescope. Beta Monocerotis is an impressive triple star system, the three stars forming a triangle which seems to be fixed.

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Messier Objects in Monoceros

M50 – Open Cluster; remarkable objects – about half the apparent size of the Full Moon and easily visible in binoculars.
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Messier Objects in Monoceros

Select CatalogNo of Objects
Barnard (B)0x object
Caldwell (C)4x objects
Collinder (Cr)39x objects
New General Catalogue (NGC)58x objects
Index Catalogue (IC)9x objects
Sharpless (Sh2)14x objects

Features of Interest

  • NGC 2244 – The stars of Open Cluster (at the centre of this picture) are enveloped in the Rosette Nebula. The Open Cluster is easily visible through binoculars – however, excellent skies are needed to trace the outline of the surrounding Rosette Nebula which is four times larger to show up well only on photographs.
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  • NGC 2264 – Open Cluster; viewed through a small telescope it appears triangular in shape; also known as Christmas Tree Cluster or Cone Nebula.

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Named Stars

  • Alpha Monocerotis (Lucida)
  • more list of stars in Monoceros.

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IAU Sky Chart: Monoceros


Constellations – Visible from the UK

AndromedaAquariusAquilaAriesAuriga
BoötesCamelopardalisCancerCanes VenaticiCanis Major
Canis MinorCapricornusCassiopeiaCepheusComa Berenices
Corona BorealisCygnusDelphinusDracoEquuleus
GeminiHerculesLacertaLeoLeo Minor
LibraLynx LyraMonocerosOphiuchus
OrionPegasusPerseusPiscesSagitta
Serpens CaputSerpens CaudaSextansTaurusTriangulum
Ursa MajorUrsa MinorVirgoVulpecula
(44 constellations above are visible from the United Kingdom.)

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Parts visible from the UK

AntliaColumbaEridanusFornaxMicroscopium
Piscis AustrinusPuppisPyxisSagittariusScorpius
(10 constellations above are partially visible from the United Kingdom.)

(Only 10 of them even in part from the United Kingdom.)

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Constellations: Southern Celestial Hemisphere
…..never seen from the UK

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Back to Constellation Names

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