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The Fly

Constellation of the southern sky

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Map of Musca Map of Musca


The origins of Musca are difficult to discern. Like its neighbour Crux, this region of the sky was originally included within the bounds of the large constellation Centaurus. Most sources suggest that Johann Bayer added the Fly to the heavens, though some hold Jacob Bartsch responsible. Whoever was responsible, they have left us with a faint star-group containing little of interest.


Musca lies almost centrally on the band of the Milky Way, and so presents a rich starfield when viewed through binoculars or a telescope. To the unaided eye, though, its stars are rather dim. The brightest, the blue Alpha Muscae, is only of magnitude +2.7, while the Beta star, which is also blue and lies within a few light years of Alpha, is slightly fainter at magnitude +3.0.


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