The Altar (lat. Ara) is a constellation of the south with an area of 237 square degrees. It belongs to the 48 constellations of antiquity, which were described byPtolemy. The brightest star is "Choo", Alpha Arae, with a magnitude of 1.9.
How to spot Ara
Ara is best seen in summer. The striking shape of the letter H ensures that the constellation is easy to find. It borders onScorpiusin the north, onNormain the west, onTelescopiumin the east and onTriangulum Australein the south.
The first mention of the constellation dates back to the third century before Christ: In an astronomical doctrine Aratos of Soloi called it the "incense altar" and interpreted its visibility as a warning of storms on the seas. Centuries later, the Romans saw Ara as part ofCentaurusbefore it was finally recognized as one of the88 modern constellations.