Also known as the “Bird of Paradise” the Constellation Apus lies in the far southern sky and cannot be viewed at any time of the year from North America or Europe. The birds for which this southern beauty is named are members of the family Paradisaeidae of the order Passeriformes.
The constellation was first catalogued and named by Dutch astronomer and cartographer Petrus Plancius based on the observations of navigators Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser and Frederick Houtman. It was originally called Paradysvogel Apis Indica, Although Apis means Bee and Avis means Bird
Apus is home to two notable deep sky objects: the globular clusters NGC 6101 and IC 4499. The constellation also contains the galaxies IC 4633 and IC 4635.
Apus has two-star systems with known exoplanets, HD 131664 (G3V) and HD 134606 (G6IV).
Right Ascension: 04:04
Diameter (°): 9
Area (square °): 206
Opposition: May 24
Size Rank: 67th
Brightness Rank: 76th
Other Stars in Apus
α Apodis (Alpha Apodis)
γ Apodis (Gamma Apodis)
δ Apodis (Delta Apodis)
κ Apodis (Kappa Apodis) This is actually 2-star systems, Kappa-1 Apodis (HR 5730) and Kappa-2 Apodis (HR 5782) designated by Bayer.
β Apodis (Beta Apodis)
ζ Apodis (Zeta Apodis)
η Apodis (Eta Apodis)
ε Apodis (Epsilon Apodis)
Deep sky objects in Apus
NGC 6101- Globular Cluster
IC 4499 - Globular Cluster
IC 4633 Galaxy
IC 4635 Galaxy
NGC 6392 Galaxy
History of the Constellation Apus
This southern constellation cannot be viewed from any area of the earth more than 5 degrees north of the equator. Its name has been associated not only with the bird family called Paradisaeidae, it has also been associated with the Latin name Apis Indicia, meaning “Indian Bee”. “Apus” is a variation of the Latin root for bee, (as in Apiary). The consensus among many astronomers was that the name was originally should have been “Avis” meaning bird (as in Aviary).
In Bayer’s Uranometria,the constellation was referred to as Apis Indica. In 1627Johannes Kepler, referred to it as Avis Indica in his Rudolphine Tables. To reduce the confusion of having two similar constellations, Bayer’s Avis Indica was renamed to Apus, and Apis, the constellation representing the bee, was renamed Musca, the fly by French astronomer Abbé Nicolas Louis de Lacaille.
Apus is the 67th constellation in size and it is set in the third quadrant of the southern hemisphere. You can see it at latitudes between +5° and -90°. Apus is bordered by these constellations: Ara, Chamaeleon, Circinus, Musca, Octans, Pavo and Triangulum Australe.
Due to its appearance only in the far southern sky, some associate the Apus constellation with the flower “The Bird of Paradise” native to South Africa. Strelitzia is a genus of five species of perennial plants known for their colorful winged appearance