The Constellation Directory


"The Microscope"


By IAU and Sky & Telescope magazine (Roger Sinnott & Rick Fienberg) [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Abbreviation: Mic
Genitive: Microscopii
Constellation family: Lacaille
Nearest constellations: Capricornus, Grus, Indus, Piscis Austrinus, Sagittarius, and Telescopium
Right ascension: 20.97h
Declination: -35.20°
Visible between latitudes: +45° and -90°
Square degrees: 210
Luminary: Gamma Microscopii


Microscopium is a small constellation in the Southern Hemisphere that is best viewed in September. It was originally named by Nicolas Louis de Lacaille around 1750 in honor of the invention of the microscope.

Gamma Microscopii, the constellation's brightest star, is currently moving away from the Sun at a rate of around 15 kilometers per second. Calculation of its path through space in relation to the Earth leads to the conclusion that Gamma Mic was the brightest star in the night sky about 3.8 million years ago.


There is no mythology associated with this constellation.