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The Toucan

Constellation of the southern sky

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Constellation FamilyBayer
Celestial QuadrantsSQ1, SQ4
Right Ascension22h09 to 01h25
Declination-56.3° to -75.4°
Area (sq deg)295
Brightest StarAlpha Tucanae
Optimum VisibilitySeptember / October (Usually visible from southern latitudes)
NotesTucana is perhaps most easily located by following the line of the River Eridanus southwestward to its southern tip, marked by first-magnitude Achernar, beyond which lies the far southern constellation of the Toucan. Tucana is best known for two important features: the Small Magellanic Cloud and the bright globular cluster 47 Tucanae.
Map of Tucana Map of Tucana

Tucana is not an area of sky filled with bright stars, though Alpha Tucanae reaches a magnitude of +2.85. More important, though, are Tucana's stock of extragalactic objects, including not only the bright globular cluster 47 Tucanae, but also the Small Magellanic Cloud.

The blue-grey object to left of centre at the bottom of this image is the Small Magellanic Cloud, with the bright globular cluster 47 Tucanae to its immediate northwest. Alpha Tucanae, the brightest star in the constellation, shines in the northwest (upper right) quadrant of this image. (The far brighter star in the northeast is not part of Tucana; this is Achernar near the southern tip of Eridanus.) Imagery provided by Aladin sky atlas


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