α Phoenicis

Alpha Phoenicis, Ankaa, is an orange giant roughly four binocular fields northwest of alpha Eridani (Achernar): binoculars.

The star is gradually turning into a red giant then will eventually become a white dwarf.

Rather than a Phoenix (a Nineteenth century name), the Arabs saw the constellation as a boat; hence the star's more traditional name Nair al Zaurak, “the bright one of the boat”.

With alpha Phoenicis centred move two binocular fields west-southwest for theta, a fine telescopic binary (DUN 251): 6.5, 7.3; 278º, 3.9".

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© 1999-2014 by Richard Dibon-Smith.