Ara, the Altar, lies just south of Scorpius,
whose southern portion (the southern bend of the tail) is seen
at the top. The constellation's luminary, Beta Arae, is the
upper of the pair of stars toward bottom center. Alpha Arae,
which is just barely fainter, is just below the center.
The remainder of the constellation stretches
toward the bottom, where it is cut off by the southern horizon.
The bright star above the center of the picture
is Girtab, Theta Scorpii. 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 just 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. Ara has a star with three
planets. Photo courtesy of