Corona Australis

Corona Australis

Corona Australis Corona Australis (CrA, Corona Austrina, southern crown) is a constellation in the Southern Celestial Hemisphere. Its Latin name means "southern crown", and it is the southern counterpart of Corona Borealis, the northern crown. One of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd-century astronomer Ptolemy, it remains one of the 88 modern constellations.

The Ancient Greeks saw Corona Australis as a wreath rather than a crown and associated it with Sagittarius or Centaurus. Other cultures have likened the pattern to a turtle, ostrich nest, a tent, or even a hut belonging to a rock hyrax.

In the 3rd century BC, the Greek didactic poet Aratus wrote of, but did not name the constellation, instead calling the two crowns Στεφάνοι (Stephanoi). The Greek astronomer Ptolemy described the constellation in the 2nd century AD, though with the inclusion of Alpha Telescopii, since transferred to Telescopium. Ascribing 13 stars to the constellation, he named it Στεφάνος νοτιος (Stephanos notios), "Southern Wreath", while other authors associated it with either Sagittarius (having fallen off his head) or Centaurus; with the former, it was called Corona Sagittarii. Similarly, the Romans called Corona Australis the "Golden Crown of Sagittarius". It was known as Parvum Coelum in the 5th century. The 18th-century French astronomer Jérôme Lalande gave it the names Sertum Australe ("Southern Garland") and Orbiculus Capitis, while German poet and author Philippus Caesius called it Corolla ("Little Crown") or Spira Australis ("Southern Coil"), and linked it with the Crown of Eternal Life from the New Testament. Seventeenth-century celestial cartographer Julius Schiller linked it to the Diadem of Solomon. Sometimes, Corona Australis was not the wreath of Sagittarius but arrows held in his hand.

Corona Australis has been associated with the myth of Bacchus and Stimula. Jupiter had impregnated Stimula, causing Juno to become jealous. Juno convinced Stimula to ask Jupiter to appear in his full splendor, which the mortal woman could not handle, causing her to burn. After Bacchus, Stimula's unborn child, became an adult and the god of wine, he honored his deceased mother by placing a wreath in the sky.

The indigenous Boorong people of northwestern Victoria saw it as Won, a boomerang thrown by Totyarguil (Altair). The Aranda people of Central Australia saw Corona Australis as a coolamon carrying a baby, which was accidentally dropped to earth by a group of sky-women dancing in the Milky Way. The impact of the coolamon created Gosses Bluff crater, 175 km west of Alice Springs. The Torres Strait Islanders saw Corona Australis as part of a larger constellation encompassing part of Sagittarius and the tip of Scorpius's tail; the Pleiades and Orion were also associated. This constellation was Tagai's canoe, crewed by the Pleiades, called the Usiam, and Orion, called the Seg. The myth of Tagai says that he was in charge of this canoe, but his crewmen consumed all of the supplies onboard without asking permission. Enraged, Tagai bound the Usiam with a rope and tied them to the side of the boat, then threw them overboard. Scorpius's tail represents a suckerfish, while Eta Sagittarii and Theta Coronae Australis mark the bottom of the canoe. On the island of Futuna, the figure of Corona Australis was called Tanuma and in the Tuamotus, it was called Na Kaua-ki-Tonga.

Bordering constellations
Sagittarius | Scorpius | Ara | Telescopium

Lists of stars by constellation
WallHapp Catalogue (WH)

LISTS OF STARS IN Corona Australis
WallHapp Catalogue (WH)