Position in the Sky

Named Stars

Octans was named by Abbé Nicolas Louis de Lacaille. Octans is the constellation which contains the South Celestial Pole. Unlike Ursa Minor's Polaris, there is no bright star near the South Pole.

The Octant is a navigational tool used to determine the altitude of a star, and thus one's latitude on the Earth. The choice of names for this constellation is significant because the octant was used to measure the position of Polaris innumerable times in the early years of celestial navigation. In later years, the octant was replaced by the sextant (which also has a constellation, Sextans, named after it).

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