WHICH IS THE SMALLEST CONSTELLATION?

The smallest constellation is Crux, the Southern Cross. A small group of four bright stars that forms a Latin cross in the southern sky, Crux is visible from latitudes south of 25 degrees north and completely invisible in latitudes above 35 degrees north (in the United States, roughly north of Texas).

Originally it was part of the constellation Centaur, but became its own constellation during the 16th century when it was used as a valuable navigation tool by explorers. Its area is calculated at about 68 square degrees.

Blue-white ? Crucis (Acrux) is the most southerly member of the constellation and, at magnitude 0.8, the brightest. The three other stars of the cross appear clockwise and in order of lessening magnitude: ? Crucis (Mimosa), ? Crucis (Gacrux), and ? Crucis (Imai). ? Crucis (Ginan) also lies within the cross asterism. Many of these brighter stars are members of the Scorpius–Centaurus association, a large but loose group of hot blue-white stars that appear to share common origins and motion across the southern Milky Way.

Crux contains four Cepheid variables, each visible to the naked eye under optimum conditions. Crux also contains the bright and colourful open cluster known as the Jewel Box (NGC 4755) on its eastern border. Nearby to the southeast is a large dark nebula spanning 7° by 5° known as the Coalsack Nebula, portions of which are mapped in the neighbouring constellations of Centaurus and Musca.

Credit : Wikipedia 

Picture Credit : Google 

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