88 Musca



English name:
Stellar data. Coordonnées Céleste




A small constellation in the cirumpolar regions of the south pole of the sky and a member of the Bayer constellation family. Musca was originally designed as a bee, Apis, by Bayer (in the sky atlas of 1801 by Johann Bode this constellation is also pictured as a bee). Its is not clear who changed ther designation (Halley ?).
North of Musca lies Crux, the Southern Cross. A part of the Coalsack Nebula extends from Crux into Musca.

Stars and other objects

Viewed by the naked eye, beta Mus appears as a blue-white 3rd mag star (spectraltype B2.5V). Using a telescope with an aperture of 100 mm reveals two close 4th mag stars.
The double theta Mus consists of a blue-white supergiant (B0Ia) of 5th mag with an 7th mag companion. This companion belong to a very interesting group of stars: it's an so-called Wolf-Rayet star (WC5). These very hot stars show broad emission lines and strong stellar winds (about 500 to 800 km/sec, sometimes even significantly higher). How the gas of the atmosphere is accelerated to reach such an high velocity is not yet known.
This double can be viewed with small telescopes.