The Table Mountain

Mensa Constellation

Table Mountain

Mensa is another one of the constellations invented by by Abbe Nicholas Louis de Lacaille who mapped the stars of the southern hemisphere from the Cape of Good Hope in the years from 1751 to 1753.

De La Caille gave this constellation the full name Mons Mensae, that is, Table Mountain. Usually, though, this constellation is referred to simply as Mensa.

South Africa

The constellation of Mensa commemorates an actual geographical location, Table Mountain near Cape Town, South Africa, where de La Caille made his observations of the southern skies.

The Magellanic Clouds

The stars of Mensa are extremely dim, of magnitudes 5 and 6. The most notable object near Mensa is the Large Magellanic Cloud, which lies mostly in the neighboring constellation of Dorado but laps over to some extent into Mensa. The Large Magellanic Cloud is a smaller neighbor of the Milky Way Galaxy in which we live. The Large Magellanic Cloud lies about 168,000 ly away from us.  

Copyright © 1998 - 2010 by Arnold V. Lesikar,
Professor Emeritus
Dept. of Physics, Astronomy, and Engineering Science,
St. Cloud State University,St. Cloud, MN 56301-4498

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