Constellation Volans

 

The Flying Fish (lat. Volans) is an inconspicuous constellation of the south. The brightest star is β Volantis, a 3.8 mag bright star, 108 light years away.

How to spot Volans

With an area of 141 square degrees, Volans can be spotted in the sky in spring. In the north and east it borders on the constellation Carina, in the west on Doradus and Mensa and in the south on Chamaeleon.

History

At the end of the 16th century, a Dutch fleet traveled to the legendary Spice Islands to create new trade relationships. Under Captain Keyser, the positions of 135 stars were measured during this journey, which were later included by Peter Plancius in his sky maps. From these he recognized twelve new constellations, including "Den vliegenden Vis". A few years later, the constellation was recorded as "Volans" in the new Sky Atlas. The flying fish, typical of the subtropical seas, were so intriguing to Keyser and de Houtman that they wanted to set a monument in the sky.