In order to refer a native of either Asia or America, the constellation Indus represents the Indian during the time it was created. When exploring the southern hemisphere, the Dutch sea navigators Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser and Frederick de Houtman made observations and based on these observations, Petrus Plancius originally created this constellation. When Indus’stellar patterns appeared on a celestial globe in 1597, it became known and was considered as a constellation. In 1603, the constellation was added to Johann Bayer’s Uranometria catalogue and after years of survival, it became one of the 88 modern constellations by the International Astronomical Union.

Which stars comprise the constellation?

There are a few notable stars in the constellation, they are:

  • The Persian (Alpha Indi): Alpha Indi is a star in the constellation, which has evolved from the main sequence and has also entered the giant stage of evolution. The star has a visual magnitude of about 3.11 and is around 98.3 light years away from the solar system.
  • Indi (Beta Indi): It is a bright giant with a visual magnitude of 3.658 and is around 600 light years away.
  • Indi (Epsilon Indi): Epsilon Indi is a main sequence star which is around 11.83 light years away from the earth. It is usually spotted by the arrows held by the Indian man in his left hand.
  • Indi (Theta Indi): Theta India is a double star and is around 91 light years away from the sun.
  • Indi (Rho Indi): It is a yellow sub giant with a visual magnitude of about 6.064 and is around 86.43 light years away from the sun. Rho Indi is believed to be around 13 billion years old and is going to end its life as a planetary nebula.
  • T Indi: It is semi–regular star in the constellation, a red giant with a period of around 11 months and is located around 1,900 light years from the solar system. The apparent magnitude of T Indi usually varies from 7 to 5.
Does it contain any deep sky objects or galaxies?

Some of the deep sky objects of the constellation include:

  • NGC 7049: It is basically a galaxy located around 100 million light years away from the earth. NGC 7049 contains a visible dust ring and few globular star clusters. It has characteristics of a spiral galaxy as well as of an elliptical galaxy.
  • IC 5152: It is basically an irregular galaxy in Indus and was first discovered by an American astronomer DeLisle Stewart in 1908.
  • NGC 7090: It is a spiral galaxy in the constellation with a magnitude of 10.51 and is around 30 million light years away. An English astronomer John Herschel first discovered it on 4th October, 1834.
  • NGC 7083: It is a spiral galaxy in the constellation with a magnitude of about 12 and is considered as a grand design spiral galaxy.
  • NGC 7041: It is an elliptical galaxy first discovered by John Herschel on 7th July, 1834. NGC 7041 has a visual magnitude of 11.1
  • NGC 7064: It is barred spiral galaxy with a visual magnitude of about 12.2.
  • NGC 7029: It is a bright elliptical galaxy in the constellation with a visual magnitude of about 11.7 and is about 118.4 million light years away. 
What is its position in the galaxy?

The constellation Indus lies in the fourth quadrant of the southern hemisphere and is visible at latitudes between + 150 and -900

How much space does it occupy in the sky?

It is the 49th Constellation in size and occupies an area of 294 square degrees in the sky.

What is the cultural or mythological significance of Indus?

Indus or the Indian is usually depicted holding arrows or spears as though hunting. There are no myths associated with this constellation. However, there may be an indication that it might represent a native of Madagascar by the early depictions, including the one in Bayer’s Uranometria. 

Which are its neighbouring constellations?

Grus, Microscopium, Octans, Pavo, Sagittarius, Telescopium and Tucana are the neighbouring constellations of Indus.

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