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
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.