Constellation Mensa (Table Mountain)

Mensa: IAU Constellation Map [150]


The constellation lies south of the Large Magellanic Cloud and shares it with the constellation Dorado further north. Otherwise, the cafeteria is inconspicuous, because the brightest stars are almost 5th size. The area is 153 square degrees and the center culminates around midnight on December 13th. [9, 15]

Data for constellation Mensa [150]
IAU NameMensa
IAU GenitiveMensae
IAU Abbr.Men
English NameTable Mountain
Opposition13 December
Season (47° N)
Right Ascension03h 12m 56s … 07h 36m 52s
Declination-85° 15' 41" … -69° 44' 48"
Area153 deg2
Neighbours (N↻)Dor, Hyi, Oct, Cha, Vol



The constellation was introduced in the middle of the 17th century by Lacaille under the name Mons Mensa in memory of Table Mountain on the Cape of Good Hope in his work "Coelum australe stelliferum". From there he had explored the southern sky. The Big Magellanic Cloud partially protrudes into the cafeteria and may have reminded Lacaille of the earthly clouds that enveloped Table Mountain often enough. [7, 21]


  • [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
  • [15] «Hartung's Astronomical Objects for Southern Telescopes» by David Malin and David J. Frew; Melbourne University Press 1995; ISBN 0-522-84553-3
  • [21] «Taschenatlas der Sternbilder» von Josef Klepesta und Antonin Rükl; Verlag Werner Dausien; ISBN 3-7684-2384-0
  • [150] IAU: The Constellations, 11. Oktober 2020;