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Omega Centauri was determined to be nonstellar in 1677 by the English astronomer Edmond Halley,[8] though it was visible as a star to the ancients. Also called Hadar and Agena, it is a double star; the primary is a blue-hued giant star of magnitude 0.6, 525 light-years from Earth. In the eyepiece of a large telescope, its southeastern dust lane becomes visible. One other first magnitude star Beta Centauri is in the constellation in a position beyond Proxima and toward the narrow axis of Crux, thus with Alpha forming a far-south limb of the constellation. In the eyepiece, it appears as an elliptical object 9 arcminutes by 2.5 arcminutes tilted on a southwest-northeast axis. In Hawaii, the name for Alpha Centauri was either Melemele or Ka Maile-hope and the name for Beta Centauri was either Polapola or Ka Maile-mua. The next bright object is Gamma Centauri, a binary star which appears to the naked eye at magnitude 2.2. [2], Centaurus is rich in galaxies as well. This may have sparked the galaxy's high rate of star formation, which continues today and contributes to its high surface brightness. The constellation also contains Omega Centauri, the brightest globular cluster as visible from Earth and the largest identified in the Milky Way, possibly a remnant of a dwarf galaxy. In the Tuamotu islands, Alpha was called Na Kuhi and Beta was called Tere. Alpha and Beta Centauri were not named specifically by the people of Pukapuka or Tonga, but they were named by the people of Hawaii and the Tuamotus. This galaxy has also been cited in studies of dark matter, because the stars in the outer ring orbit too quickly for their collective mass. It has a supermassive black hole at its core, which expels massive jets of matter that emit radio waves due to synchrotron radiation.

[3] V810 Centauri is a semiregular variable. It has been closely associated with the Sun god Utu-Shamash from very early times.[14]. Notable stars include Alpha Centauri, the nearest star system to the Solar System, its neighbour in the sky Beta Centauri, and V766 Centauri, one of the largest stars yet discovered. It contains approximately 100 stars, the brightest of which are 7th magnitude. In the eyepiece, it is a small galaxy of magnitude 10 with dimensions of 5 arcminutes by 2 arcminutes and a bright nucleus.

Precession has been slowly shifting it southward for millennia, and it is now close to its maximal southern declination. It was mentioned by Eudoxus in the 4th century BC and Aratus in the 3rd century BC. The legend associated with Chiron says that he was accidentally poisoned with an arrow shot by Hercules, and was subsequently placed in the heavens.[3]. [17], The Pointer (α Centauri and β Centauri) is one of the asterisms used by Bugis sailors for navigation, called bintoéng balué, meaning "the widowed-before-marriage". While Centaurus now has a high southern latitude, at the dawn of civilization it was an equatorial constellation. The secondary is of magnitude 4.0 and has a modest separation, appearing only under intense magnification due to its distance. R Centauri is a Mira variable star with a minimum magnitude of 11.8 and a maximum magnitude of 5.3; it is about 1,250 light-years from Earth and has a period of 18 months. The stars in the human part of Centaurus, such as Menkent, have a Venus and Mercury nature making these people good looking and intelligent with psychic abilities. Not all of the stars of Centaurus can be seen from China, and the unseen stars were classified among the Southern Asterisms by Xu Guangqi, based on his study of western star charts. [2], Alpha Centauri is a triple star system, a binary around which orbits Proxima Centauri, currently the nearest star to the Sun.

The intracluster medium in the Centaurus Cluster has a high concentration of metals (elements heavier than helium) due to a large number of supernovae. The Alpha couple revolve in 80-year periodicity and will next appear closest as seen from Earth's telescopes in 2037 and 2038, together as they appear to the naked eye they present the third-brightest "star" in the night sky.[2]. Large as it is now, in earlier times it was even larger, as the constellation Lupus was treated as an asterism within Centaurus, portrayed in illustrations as an unspecified animal either in the centaur's grasp or impaled on its spear. [15] The Southern Cross, which is now regarded as a separate constellation, was treated by the ancients as a mere asterism formed of the stars composing the centaur's legs. [13], NGC 4650A is a polar-ring galaxy 136 million light-years from Earth (redshift 0.01).

In a little over 7000 years it will be at maximum visibility for those in the northern hemisphere, visible at times in the year up to quite a high northern latitude. It is also the most luminous globular cluster in the Milky Way, at over one million solar luminosities. [11] ESO 270-17, also called the Fourcade-Figueroa Object, is a low-surface brightness object believed to be the remnants of a galaxy; it does not have a core and is very difficult to observe with an amateur telescope. It is also called bintoéng sallatang meaning "southern star" [18]. This suggests that the galaxy is surrounded by a dark matter halo, which provides the necessary mass. On Pukapuka, Centaurus had two names: Na Mata-o-te-tokolua and Na Lua-mata-o-Wua-ma-Velo.

The primary is 344 light-years away.[3]. Also a flare star, Proxima has minutes-long outbursts where it brightens by over a magnitude. It is not to be confused with the more warlike centaur represented by the zodiacal constellation Sagittarius. BPM 37093 is a white dwarf star whose carbon atoms are thought to have formed a crystalline structure. Centaurus /sɛnˈtɔːrəs, -ˈtɑːr-/ is a bright constellation in the southern sky.

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