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Illustrated Guide to Astronomical Wonders by Barbara Fritchman Thompson, Robert Bruce Thompson

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45Sextans, The Sextant

NAME: Sextans (SEX-tanz)

SEASON: Winter

CULMINATION: midnight, 21 February

ABBREVIATION: Sex

GENITIVE: Sextantis (sex-TAN-tis)

NEIGHBORS: Crt, Hya, Leo

BINOCULAR OBJECTS: none

URBAN OBJECTS: none

Sextans is an extremely faint, mid-size equatorial constellation that ranks 47th in size among the 88 constellations. Sextans covers 314 square degrees of the celestial sphere, or about 0.8%. Its brightest star is barely fourth magnitude. It has only one of those, and only four of the fifth magnitude. The ancients considered the area of Sextans to be just a dark patch of sky, and included it in none of their constellations. Most modern amateur astronomers have seen Sextans dozens or hundreds of times—it lies just south of Regulus ...

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