Constellation Antlia (Air Pump)

Antlia: IAU Constellation Map [150]


Like many of the «modern» constellations, Antlia is an inconspicuous gap filler between the large and bright constellations east of the Milky Way ribbon. The star alignment in no way resembles an air pump. The area is 239 square degrees. The constellation lies between Hydra and Vela and culminates at midnight on around February 22nd. For Central Europe it just comes up over the southern horizon in winter. [9, 15]

Data for constellation Antlia [150]
IAU NameAntlia
IAU GenitiveAntliae
IAU Abbr.Ant
English NameAir Pump
Season (47° N)December … April
Right Ascension09h 26m 56s … 11h 05m 55s
Declination-40° 25' 29" … -24° 32' 33"
Area239 deg2
Neighbours (N↻)Hya, Pyx, Vel, Cen



The French astronomer Abbé Nicolas Louis de Lacaille introduced the constellation Antlia Pneumatica around 1752. It was intended to commemorate the invention of the air pump by the English physicist Robert Boyle. Lacaille, who was the first to completely map the southern sky from an observatory on the Cape of Good Hope, created several new constellations to fill the gaps between existing figures. However, most of these constellations are just as inconspicuous as Antlia. The name was shortened to Antlia in 1930 by the International Astronomical Union (IAU). [7, 10, 15]


  • [7] «Der grosse Kosmos-Himmelsführer» von Ian Ridpath und Wil Tirion; Kosmos Verlag; ISBN 3-440-05787-9
  • [9] «Drehbare Sternkarte SIRIUS» von H. Suter-Haug; Hallwag-Verlag, Bern
  • [10] «dtv-Atlas zur Astronomie» von Joachim Herrmann; Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag; ISBN 3-423-03006-2
  • [15] «Hartung's Astronomical Objects for Southern Telescopes» by David Malin and David J. Frew; Melbourne University Press 1995; ISBN 0-522-84553-3
  • [150] IAU: The Constellations, 11. Oktober 2020;