05 July 2021
1. Microscopium means ‘the microscope’ in Latin
2. The constellation is known as a minor constellation
3. One of the few constellations representing a scientific instrument
4. Often described by several astronomers as ‘totally unremarkable’
5. The constellation is relatively faint and does not contain many observable astral objects
The constellation of Microscopium is described by its founder to depict ‘a tube above a square box’. The constellation of Microscopium consists of 5 main stars, with its brightest stars being of mere fifth magnitude.
The constellation was introduced by French astronomer, Nicolas Louis de Lacaille, in the 18th century. It cannot be seen without proper equipment in less-than-ideal observing conditions, and it does not host any bright deep sky objects.
There are no myths associated with the constellation of Microscopium, as it was simply named after the commonly found representation of a microscope in an 18th century laboratory.
The constellation of Microscopium is situated in the southern sky’s fourth quadrant, and is visible between latitudes -90 to +45 degrees. It neighbors the constellations of Capricornus, Grus, Indus, Piscis Austrinius, Sagittarius, and Telescopium.
Of the 5 main stars it consists of, there are two celestial bodies of note: Gamma Microscopii, the brightest star of the constellation and a yellow giant with the stellar classification of G6 III; and WASP-7, a yellow-white main sequence dwarf that has an extrasolar planet, a hot Jupiter, orbiting around it.