Centaurus, a southern constellation. It is named for the centaur, a creature from Greek mythology. Centaurus can best be seen from the Tropic of Cancer southward. Alpha Centauri is the brightest member of the constellation and appears as one of the most brilliant objects in the night sky. It is actually not a single object but a system of three stars. The faintest star in the systemProxima Centauriis the nearest known neighbor of the solar system; it is some four light-years away.
Within the constellation there appears what to the unaided eye seems to be a hazy spot of light. This is Omega Centauri, a vast globular cluster of at least 100,000 individual stars.