Ara, the Altar, lies just south of Scorpius, whose southern portion (the southern bend of the tail) is seen at the top. The bright star above center is Girtab, Theta Sco. The constellation's luminary, Beta Arae, is the upper of the pair of stars toward bottom center (the lower of the two is Gamma Arae). Alpha Arae, which is just barely fainter, is below and just to the right of Girtab, while Theta Ara is to the left and a bit down from Alpha. The remainder of the constellation stretches toward the bottom, where it is cut off by the southern horizon.

The bright open cluster M 7 is toward upper left, while the modern constellation Telescopium is at lower left. The globular cluster NGC 6397 lies up and to the left of Beta Arae. The red color of the stars near the lower edge of the picture is caused by their shining through the Earth's thick atmosphere, which also makes Beta look fainter than Alpha. Photo courtesy of Chris Grohusko.

To see a labelled image, push the star:

Ara has a star with three PLANETS.

See part of Ara from Bode's Uranographia Brittanica of 1786.

By Jim Kaler. Return to STARS.