from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A constellation in the Southern Hemisphere near Musca and Triangulum Australe.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. A small constellation of the southern winter sky, said to resemble a compass. It lies between the constellations of Centaurus and Triangulum Australe.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The Compasses, a small southern constellation made by Lacaille in 1752.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a small faint constellation in the southern hemisphere near Musca and Triangulum Australe


Latin circinus, pair of compasses, from circus, circle; see circle.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Named by the French astronomer Nicolas Louis de Lacaille in 1763. From Latin circinus ("a pair of compasses") (Wiktionary)


  • Located in the Circinus constellation, this spinning formation, which resembles a human hand, is about 100 light-years in diameter and about 17,000 light-years away from earth, according to NASA.

    PSR B1509-58 PICTURES: Rotating Pulsar Looks Like A Heavenly Hand (PHOTOS)

  • Beta Circinus III, called Areta by its natives, is a Class M planet.

    Vulcan’s Glory

  • The galaxy should be on the opposite side of the Milky Way, somewhere in the constellations of Norma or Circinus, just west of the galactic center in Top headlines

  • The remnant, called RCW 86, is located about 8200 light-years away towards the constellation of Circinus (the Drawing Compass).

    Science Blog - Science news straight from the source

  • Bauer noticed a bright, variable source in the Circinus spiral galaxy, using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory.

    Scientific Frontline by SFL ORG Educational News Network

  • This composite image shows the central regions of the nearby Circinus galaxy, located about 12 million light years away.

    Science and Reason

  • Circinus galaxy with SN 1996cr - click for 576×480 image

    Science and Reason

  • NASA This composite image shows the central regions of the nearby Circinus galaxy, located about 12 million light years away.

    Penn State Live

  • Bauer, who now is at Columbia University, and Brandt noticed the bright object in the nearby Circinus spiral galaxy when they made observations with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory during its first year in orbit.

    Penn State Live

  • The image is a composite of Chandra and Hubble data of the central regions of the Circinus galaxy, where a supernova went unnoticed but it was one of the five nearest in the past 25 years.

    Tom's Astronomy Blog

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