Constellation Apus (Bird of Paradise)Date:
Bird of Paradise
The Bird of Paradise (lat. Apus) is a constellation with an area of 206 square degrees near the south celestial pole. Its two brightest stars reach the fourth magnitude.
How to spot Apus
In the southern hemisphere, Apus is best seen in summer. It is located north of the constellation Octans, west of Pavo, east of Musca and south of Ara and Triangulum Australe.
At the end of the 16th century, a Dutch fleet traveled to the legendary Spice Islands to create new trade relationships. Under Captain Keyser, the positions of 135 stars were measured during this journey, which were later included by Peter Plancius in his sky maps. From these he recognized twelve new constellations, including "De Paradijs Voghel ". A few years later, the constellation was recorded as "Apis Indica" in the new Sky Atlas. Translated it means "Indian Bee" - a mistake by the engraver probably caused the deceptive designation of the constellation, because "Avis Indica" (Indian Bird) would have been a more appropriate name. To avoid misunderstandings, the Bird of Paradise was later called "Apus" and the Fly, which was actually called "Apes", was given the Latin name "Musca".