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Piscis Austrinus
Piscis Austrinus
List of stars in Piscis Austrinus
Abbreviation PsA
Genitive Piscis Austrini
Pronunciation pronounced /ˈpaɪsɨs ɒsˈtraɪnəs/ or /ɒsˈtreɪlɨs/, genitive /ˈpaɪsɨs ʔɔːˈstraɪnaɪ/
Symbolism the Southern Fish
Right ascension 22 h
Declination −30°
Family Heavenly Waters
Quadrant SQ4
Area 245 sq. deg. (60th)
Main stars 7
Stars with planets 3
Stars brighter than 3.00m 1
Stars within 10.00 pc (32.62 ly) 3
Brightest star Fomalhaut (α PsA) (1.16m)
Nearest star Lacaille 9352
(10.74 ly, 3.29 pc)
Messier objects 0
Meteor showers ?
Visible at latitudes between +55° and −90°.
Best visible at 21:00 (9 p.m.) during the month of October.

Piscis Austrinus (also known as Piscis Australis) is a constellation in the southern celestial hemisphere. The name is Latin for "the southern fish" in contrast with the larger constellation Pisces, which represents a pair of fishes. Prior to the 20th century, it was also known as Piscis Notius. Its only star brighter than 4th magnitude is Fomalhaut.

Piscis Austrinus was one of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy, and it remains one of the 88 modern constellations. The stars of the modern constellation Grus once formed part of Piscis Austrinus. In 1597 (or 1598), Petrus Plancius carved out a separate constellation and named it after the crane.

In Greek mythology, this constellation is known as the Great Fish and it is portrayed as swallowing the water being poured out by Aquarius, the water-bearer constellation. The two fish of the constellation Pisces are said to be the offspring of the Great Fish. In Egyptian mythology, this fish saved the life of the Egyptian goddess Isis, so she placed this fish and its descendants into the heavens as constellations of stars.[1]

Notable features

Fomalhaut traditionally represents the mouth of the fish. Its companion Fomalhaut b is the first extrasolar planet ever detected by a visible light image, thanks to the Hubble Space Telescope. Beta PsA is the only other star in the constellation to have been named, being Tien Kang (heavenly rope) in China. It is also a binary, although of two nearly equal stars.


  1. ^ Condos, Theony; Eratosthenes; Hyginus (1997). Star myths of the Greeks and Romans: a sourcebook containing the Constellations of Pseudo-Eratosthenes and the Poetic astronomy of Hyginus. Red Wheel/Weiser. pp. 163-164. ISBN 1890482935. 
  • Ian Ridpath and Wil Tirion (2007). Stars and Planets Guide, Collins, London. ISBN 978-0007251209. Princeton University Press, Princeton. ISBN 978-0691135564.

External links

Coordinates: Sky map 22h 00m 00s, −30° 00′ 00″



Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



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From Latin piscis austrīnus, "southern fish".

Alternative forms

Proper noun

Piscis Austrinus


Piscis Austrinus

  1. (astronomy) An autumn constellation of the northern sky, said to resemble a fish. It contains the star Fomalhaut.

Derived terms


See also


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