α Pavonis

Alpha Pavonis (‘Peacock’) represents the head of the peacock; the rest of the asterism is to the south, fanning out to form its body and tail.

Alpha Pavonis is a 1.9 magnitude blueish star best found with the naked eye. It's the brightest star in a region east of the Southern Triangle and a bit more to the north. It is also due south of alpha Aquilae—Altair—far to the north.

You'll recognise Peacock by the fact that beta Indi, an orange giant, is in the same field: binoculars.

Alpha is a multiple binary (h5193) in which the two components form a straight line at nearly due east, the middle component at almost the exact centre between the other two:
      AB: 1.9, 9.1; 80º, 249.4".
      AC: 1.9, 9.7; 80º, 125.7".


Most of the stars of interest here are due south of the Peacock. Two binocular fields south is beta; the most notable neighbours here are the two mu stars on the eastern edge, two orange giants.

South one more field and a bit is epsilon Pavonis.

In the northeastern region is a fine binary, DUN 231: 6.9, 8.9; 286º, 48.7".


Return to the previous view, beta Pavonis, move two and a half fields west and north one field to find xi Pavonis.

Xi Pavionis is an orange giant 420 light years away. It is also a telescopic binary (Gale 2): 4.4, 8.1; 156º, 3.4".

Northeast one binocular field brings lambda Pavonis along with an exceptional star cluster.

Lambda Pavonis is a very hot, 22,000 Kelvin, subgiant about 13 million years old. Northeast 3.3 degrees is the spectacular cluster NGC 6752.

Click on NGC 6752 on the map for its details.

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© 1998-2014 by Richard Dibon-Smith.