β Octantis

Beta Octantis is a convenient star to begin exploring Octans.

The star is easily located if you are acquainted with Hydrus; centre beta Hydri and move one binocular field south-southwest; beta will be nearly centred.

Lambda Octantis is a close binary (h5278) of a yellowish primary and yellow-orange component: 5.6, 7.3; 63, 3.5".

Centre beta Octantis and move one and a half binocular fields northwest to find alpha.

The brightest star in Octans is in this field, nu Octantis, with a visual magnitude of 3.7. It has a very dim and close companion, orbiting every 2.8 years. Also nu Octantis probably has what is described as a Jupiter-like planet.

Alpha is found near the centre of the field of view, a mere 5.1, it's barely visible to the naked eye. It's a spectroscopic binary system of two identical stars, with a very fast orbit of just nine days.

Toward the northwest edge is mu2, a fine binary (DUN 232) of two yellow dwarf stars: 6.5, 7.1; 19, 16.7".

In 2012 it was concluded, after a four-year analysis of the star's movements, that a long-period planet was orbiting the star.

Click on sigma Octantis on the map to continue.

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1999-2014 by Richard Dibon-Smith.