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The Level, The Square, The Rule

Constellation of the southern sky

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Constellation FamilyLa Caille
Celestial QuadrantSQ3
Right Ascension15h12 to 16h36
Declination-42.3° to -60.4°
Area (sq deg)165
Brightest StarGamma2 Normae
Optimum VisibilityJune (Usually visible from southern latitudes)
Map of Norma Map of Norma

A small constellation lying against a dense region of the Milky Way, and in fact giving its name to one of the Galaxy's minor spiral arms. It contains a number of distant star clusters, but little of interest is visible to the naked eye.

Norma takes its name from a level or carpenter's square, with that square is represented by a group of stars that form a rather irregular quadrangle rather than anything close to a precise square. None of these stars exceed fourth magnitude, with the brightest being Gamma2 Normae at the 'square's' southern corner. Imagery provided by Aladin sky atlas


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