The Constellation Norma

by Dominic Ford
Norma Norma
The constellation Norma. Roll mouse over to see labels.
Source: Stellarium.

Norma is a small and faint southern constellation, which appears highest in the evening sky in the months around May.

It was created by Nicolas Louis de Lacaille in 1756 from a dark patch of sky between Lupus and Ara, and represents a set-square and rule. Originally called ‘l'Equerre et la Regle’, its name was Latinised and abbreviated to Norma in 1763.

Norma lacks any stars brighter than fourth magnitude, but lies close to the plane of the Milky Way and offers the deep sky observer a rich array of open star clusters.

Its brightest star is designated γ²-Nor; although Lacaille created a full set of Bayer letter designations for its stars, he originally envisaged a much larger constellation and the stars he denoted α and β now lie within the modern constellation of Scorpius, where they are now designated N-Sco and H-Sco.

Date First Appeared
1756 (Lacaille)
Sky Area
0.4% of the sky
165.3 square degrees
Messier Objects
Norma contains no Messier objects
Caldwell Objects
Norma contains the following Caldwell object: C89.
The following constellations neighbor Norma: Ara, Circinus, Lupus, Scorpius, Triangulum Australe.
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Brightest Objects in Norma

Stars Open Clusters Globular Clusters Galaxies
Stars Open Clusters Globular Clusters Galaxies
γ²-Nor (mag 4.0) NGC 6087 (mag 5.4) NGC 5946 (mag 9.6)
ε-Nor (mag 4.5) NGC 6067 (mag 5.6)
η-Nor (mag 4.7) NGC 6167 (mag 6.7)
ι¹-Nor (mag 4.7) NGC 6169 (mag 7.0)
δ-Nor (mag 4.7) NGC 6134 (mag 7.2)
μ-Nor (mag 4.9) NGC 6152 (mag 8.0)
κ-Nor (mag 5.0) NGC 5925 (mag 8.0)
γ¹-Nor (mag 5.0) NGC 6031 (mag 8.5)
θ-Nor (mag 5.1) NGC 5999 (mag 9.0)
HD 147152 (mag 5.3) NGC 6005 (mag 10.7)
QU Nor (mag 5.4) NGC 6115 (mag 11.0)
HD 139129 (mag 5.4)
λ-Nor (mag 5.4)
HD 146003 (mag 5.5)
ι²-Nor (mag 5.6)
HD 145782 (mag 5.6)
HD 147977 (mag 5.7)
HD 146690 (mag 5.8)
HD 141168 (mag 5.8)
HD 141318 (mag 5.8)
ζ-Nor (mag 5.8)
HD 141194 (mag 5.8)
HD 142049 (mag 5.9)
HD 147225 (mag 5.9)
HD 139211 (mag 5.9)




Color scheme