Transit Date of principal star:
5 February

Volans is one of those constellations introduced by Johann Bayer in his 1603 star atlas. He called it Piscis Volans; only the adjective has survived. The asterism shows a sideways view of the "flying fish" (sort of).

This is one of the few constellations in which alpha is not the brightest star; beta Volans is slightly brighter, and three other stars are brighter than alpha Vol: Bayer stars.

Double stars:

Gamma2 and gamma1 Volantis form a fine binary, a deep yellow primary and whitish component: 3.9, 5.4; PA 296, separation 14.6". Notice that gamma2 is the primary.

Epsilon Volantis has a faint component: 4.4, 7.3; PA 23, separation 6.0".

Variable stars:

Volans has no variables suitable for amateur observation.

Deep Sky Objects:

There is one galaxy here which may be of some interest, a fairly faint but fine example of a barred spiral galaxy.

NGC 2442 is a faint barred spiral galaxy found midway between gamma and epsilon Volantis.

A slightly smaller galaxy with the same brightness (NGC 2434) is in the same field, just northwest.

For more on Volans visit the Binocular Section.

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Richard Dibon-Smith.

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