Antlia is one of many constellations introduced by Nicolas Louis de
Lacaille in the mid eighteenth century, designed to fill in the southern
hemisphere. The constellation commemorates the air pump, which
had been recently invented by Robert Boyle.
Antlia is located in a rather bleak and lonely part
of the southern hemisphere. It takes some imagination to find a "pump" here,
not surprising perhaps, given the small selection of
Zeta1A and zeta1B Antliae form a wide
binary: 6.4, 7.2; PA 212º, separation 8".
Eta Antliae is an even wider binary with faint companion:
5.0, 12; PA 318º, separation 31".
U Antliae is an Lb irregular variable, ranging from 8.1 to 9.7.
Deep Sky Objects:
Antlia has many spiral galaxies, however they are all quite faint. One
bright planetary nebula, NGC 3132, is sometimes assigned to Antila,
however this object is now generally given to Vela.
For a closer appreciation of Antlia, visit the Binocular Section.