Star Names:

Norma


Map of The Constellation of Norma
Please hover over any star to get more information
Norma is a constellation in the southern hemisphere, introduced by the French astronomer Nicolas Louis de Lacaille in the 18th century. He created the constellation from the faint stars lying between the constellations Ara and Lupus and named it l'Equerre et la Règle, the set-square and rule. Later, the name was translated to Latin, Norma et Regula, and then shortened to Norma, the "set square." The constellation has at various times been taken to represent a right angle, a carpenter's square, a rule or a level.

The constellation Norma occupies an area of 165 square degrees and contains four stars with known planets. It can be seen at latitudes between +30° and -90° and is best visible at 9 p.m. during the month of July.

Norma does not have any named stars and the brightest ones are only fourth magnitude. The stars originally designated alpha and beta and since been assigned to the constellation Scorpius and renamed to N and H Scorpii respectively.

The brightest star in Norma is [5717]-[5710] gamma Normae, a visual binary star composed of a F9 supergiant and a somewhat brighter G8 giant, approximately 128 light-years distant. [5711] epsilon Normae is another double star composed of two spectroscopic binaries, about 600 light-years distant. [5712]-[5724] iota Normae is an A7 subgiant with a magnitude 8 companion, lying about 271 light-years away.

The Norma constellation is located on the Milky Way and contains a number of interesting deep sky objects. The Ant Nebula, or Mz 3, named for its resemblance to the head and thorax of an ant, is between 3,000 and 6,000 light-years distant.

Sharpley 1 (Sp-1) or the Fine Ring Nebula is a small, ring-shaped planetary nebula with a white dwarf at its centre, lying near [5717]-[5710] gamma Normae and approximately 1,000 light-years distant.

NGC 6087 is the brightest open star cluster in the constellation, composed of about 40 stars. The brightest star in the cluster is [5749]-[5790] S Normae, a pulsating variable.

NGC 6067 is another open star cluster. NGC 6164 and NGC 6165 form an emission nebula in the shape of an inverted letter "S." At its centre is a star with a mass 40 times that of the Sun.

Norma belongs to the Lacaille family of constellations, along with Circinus, Telescopium, Microscopium, Sculptor, Fornax, Caelum, Horologium, Octans, Mensa, Reticulum, Pictor and Antlia.

Constellations directly bordering Norma are Scorpius, Lupus, Circinus, Triangulum Australe and Ara.



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