The Constellation Directory


"The Octant"


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

Abbreviation: Oct
Genitive: Octantis
Constellation family: Lacaille
Nearest constellations: Apus, Chamaeleon, Hydrus, Indus, Mensa, Pavo, and Tucana
Right ascension: 21.31h
Declination: -83.76°
Visible between latitudes: 0° and -90°
Square degrees: 291
Luminary: Nu Octantis


Octans is a small constellation in the Southern Hemisphere. It is best viewed in October.

Octans is circumpolar, meaning that it never disappears below the horizon in the Southern Hemisphere, and it also contains the south celestial pole, which is the point of intersection between Earth's axis and the celestial sphere.

Octans was invented by Nicolas Louis de Lacaille in the mid-1700s. It was named after the octant, a measuring tool used in astronomy and navigation.


There is no mythology associated with this constellation.