Ara


Ara


English nameAltar

Major
stars
alpha Araemagn. 3,0RA: 17h 31m 50.56sDec: -49 52' 34.4"
beta Araemagn. 2,8RA: 17h 25m 18.02sDec: -55 31' 47.6"
gamma Araemagn. 3,5RA: 17h 25m 23.63sDec: -56 22' 39.4"
zeta Araemagn. 3,1RA: 16h 58m 37.23sDec: -55 59' 24.4"

DescriptionSmall constellation to the south of Scorpius; it doesn't contain particularly interesting stars.

Remarkable are instead NGC 6193, an open cluster formed by about thirty stars (visible with binoculars), and NGC 6397, probably the nearest globular cluster, since it is around 7500 light-years away.


Mythology
and history
The constellation represents the altar in front of which the gods solemnly swore to help one another before beginning the battle against the Titans. The Titans were gigantic beings, born by the union of Uranus (the sky) and Gea (the earth): one of them, Chronus, was the father of Zeus and many others gods. After gods' victory, the Titans were imprisoned in the Tartar depths, confined by enormous bronzy doors.


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