n MNASSA : Monthly Notes of the Astronomical Society of South Africa - The sailing ark (Puppis)




We are lucky to have a great starry Ark sailing in the southern skies to please our eyes just before winter throws its blanket over us. Puppis and some other constellations were previously lumped together as the constellation Argo Navis. The Germans called Navis the Schiff, the French Navire Argo and the Italians Nave Argo. The ship's four divisions are now known as Carina the Keel, Puppis the Stern, Vela the Sail and the Mariner's Compass Pyxis. From the Bible's reference to Noah's Ark, it was popularly known in the 17th century as the Ark. It was the French astronomer Nicolas Louis de Lacaille who divided up this monster ship in the 18thcentury.


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