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Monoceros facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Abbreviation Mon
Genitive Monocerotis
Pronunciation /məˈnɒsrəs/,
genitive /ˌmɒnəsˈrts/
Symbolism the Unicorn
Right ascension 7.15
Declination −5.74
Quadrant NQ2
Area 482 sq. deg. (35th)
Main stars 4
Stars with planets 16
Stars brighter than 3.00m 0
Stars within 10.00 pc (32.62 ly) 2
Brightest star β Mon (3.76m)
Nearest star Ross 614
(13.3 ly, 4.09 pc)
Messier objects 1
Meteor showers December Monocerids
Alpha Monocerids
Canis Major
Canis Minor
Visible at latitudes between +75° and −90°.
Best visible at 21:00 (9 p.m.) during the month of February.

Monoceros (Greek: Μονόκερως) is a constellation on the celestial equator. Its name is Greek for unicorn. It was described by 17th-century Dutch cartographer Petrus Plancius. Orion is to the west of Monceros. Gemini is to the north. Canis Major is to the south. Hydra is to the east. Other constellations next to Monoceros are Canis Minor, Lepus and Puppis.

Notable features

The constellation Monoceros as it can be seen by the naked eye.


Monoceros is hard to see with the naked eye. Its brightest star, Alpha Monocerotis, has a visual magnitude of 3.93. It is brighter than Gamma Monocerotis at 3.98.

Monoceros does have some interesting features to look at with a small telescope. Beta Monocerotis is a triple star system. The three stars form a triangle which looks to be in one spot. William Herschel commented that it is "one of the most beautiful sights in the heavens".

Monoceros also has Plaskett's Star. It is a big binary system. Its whole mass is said to be that of almost 100 Suns put together.

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