Mensa Mensa


Transit Date of principal star:
24 December

Mensa, The Table, is another of Nicolas de Lacaille's creations, this one named for the Table Mountain at the Cape of Good Hope, where Lacaille observed the southern hemisphere skies in the mid eighteenth century.

The asterism shows an upside down mountain top. The mountain is seen right-side up in the Southern Hemisphere around midnight in mid-July.

There are a little over a dozen Bayer stars in Mensa, mostly fifth magnitude.

Double stars:

h3607 is a binary with colour contrast, yellow and blue: 8, 8.5; PA 127, separation 37.2".

The binary is 2 WSW of delta Mensae.

Variable stars:

U Mensae is a semi-regular, 7-10, with a period of approximately every 410 days. It's found a half degree southwest of nu Mensae.

Deep Sky Objects:

The Large Megallanic Cloud is just above the (upside-down) mountain. Beta Mensae is inside this vast galaxy, which is a satellite of the Milky Way, but most of the LMC is in Dorado.

For a more detailed appreciation of Menas, visit the Binocular Section.

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