AskDefine | Define Musca

Dictionary Definition



1 a small constellation in the polar region of the southern hemisphere near the Southern Cross and Chamaeleon
2 type genus of the Muscidae: houseflies [syn: genus Musca]

User Contributed Dictionary

see musca



musca, "fly"

Proper noun

  1. : A zoological name at the rank of genus in the family Muscidae. The housefly belongs to the genus Musca.

See also



Named by Dutch explorers Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser and Frederick de Houtman between 1595 and 1597. From musca, a "fly".

Proper noun

  1. An autumn constellation of the southern sky, said to resemble a fly. It lies between the constellations of Carina and Apus.



Extensive Definition

For the biological Musca genus, see Musca (genus).
Musca (, lang-la fly) is one of the minor southern constellations. The constellation was one of twelve constellations created by Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser and Frederick de Houtman between 1595 and 1597, and it first appeared in Johann Bayer's Uranometria of 1603.

Notable objects

The soft X-ray transient Nova Muscae 1991 is a binary object consisting of a star and a black hole. During the 1991 outburst which led to its discovery, radiation was produced through a process of positron annihilation. Musca also contains the unusual planetary nebula NGC 5189, located about 3,000 light years from earth. Its uniquely complex structure resembles a miniature crab nebula. Also within the constellation is the Hourglass Nebula (MyCn 18) at a distance of about 8,000 light years. The comparatively old globular cluster NGC 4833 near Delta Muscae is 21,200 light years distant and somewhat obscured by dust clouds near the galactic plane. The globular cluster NGC 4372 near Gamma Muscae is fainter and likewise partially obscured by dust, but spans more arc minutes.

Named Stars


Musca, under its original name Apis – the Bee, was introduced in the 17th century by Johann Bayer to fill the previously uncharted area around the southern pole. It was unknown to classical and early cultures, and they produced no mythology concerning it. In 1752 Nicolas Louis de Lacaille renamed it to Musca Australis, the Southern Fly – Australis, since it counterparted the now discarded constellation of Musca Borealis composed of a few stars in Aries, and to avoid confusion with Apus. Today the name is simply Musca.



  • Ian Ridpath and Wil Tirion (2007). Stars and Planets Guide, Collins, London. ISBN 978-0007251209. Princeton University Press, Princeton. ISBN 978-0691135564.
  • Thomas Wm. Hamilton, Useful Star Names, Holbrook, NY, Viewlex, 1968.
Musca in Bengali: মক্ষিকা মণ্ডল
Musca in Belarusian: Сузор'е Муха
Musca in Bulgarian: Муха (съзвездие)
Musca in Catalan: Mosca (constel·lació)
Musca in Czech: Souhvězdí Mouchy
Musca in Danish: Fluen
Musca in German: Fliege (Sternbild)
Musca in Estonian: Kärbes (tähtkuju)
Musca in Modern Greek (1453-): Μυία
Musca in Spanish: Musca
Musca in Esperanto: Muŝo (konstelacio)
Musca in Persian: مگس جنوبی
Musca in French: Mouche (constellation)
Musca in Irish: An Chuileog
Musca in Galician: Musca
Musca in Korean: 파리자리
Musca in Croatian: Mušica (zviježđe)
Musca in Italian: Mosca (costellazione)
Musca in Hebrew: זבוב (קבוצת כוכבים)
Musca in Latin: Musca (sidus)
Musca in Latvian: Muša (zvaigznājs)
Musca in Lithuanian: Musė (astronomija)
Musca in Dutch: Vlieg (sterrenbeeld)
Musca in Japanese: はえ座
Musca in Norwegian Nynorsk: Fluga
Musca in Polish: Mucha (gwiazdozbiór)
Musca in Portuguese: Musca
Musca in Romanian: Musca (constelaţie)
Musca in Russian: Муха (созвездие)
Musca in Slovak: Súhvezdie Mucha
Musca in Swedish: Flugan (stjärnbild)
Musca in Thai: กลุ่มดาวแมลงวัน
Musca in Vietnamese: Thương Dăng
Musca in Ukrainian: Муха (сузір'я)
Musca in Chinese: 苍蝇座
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1