Merrillville Community Planetarium
Bringing the Universe to the Merrillville Schools and Northwest Indiana

Southern Sky Constellations

French astronomer Nicolas Louis de Lacaille charted the southern sky and created many constellations in areas where there weren’t any yet. He made celestial measurements, measured positions of 9,766 stars, and catalogued 42 deep sky objects.

Lacaille created the scientific tool constellations that were popular in the 1700s. They include: Antlia Pneumatica (the Air Pump), Caelum (the Engraving Tool), Circinus, (the Geometer’s Compasses), Fornax Chemica (the Chemist’s Furnace), Horologium Oscillatorium (the Pendulum Clock), Mons Mensae (Table Mountain), Microscopium (the Microscope), Norma et Refula (the Level and Square), Octans (the Octant), Pictor (the Painter’s Easel), Pyxis Nautica (the Ship’s Compass), Reticulum Rhomboidalis (the Eyepiece Reticle), and Sculptor (the Sculptor’s Workshops).