Musca, the Fly, is a circumpolar constellation of the Southern Hemisphere and is rather dim with stars not reaching above 3rd magnitude. It's located south of Crux, the Southern Cross, and is part of the Coal Sack Nebula which extends from Crux into Centaurus and Musca.

The constellation was first named by Johann Bayer in 1603 as Apis, the Bee. Because of the similitary in name to the constellation Apus, it was renamed by Edmond Halley to Musca Apis, the Fly Bee, sometime after. It was then renamed once again by Abbe Nicolas Louis de Lacaille to Musca Australis vel Indica,the Southern Fly or Indian Fly, to distinguish itself from the constellation Musca Borealis, the Northern Fly. In 1929, the International Astronomical Union merged the Northern Fly with Aries, and the constellation was shortened to its modern name, simply Musca.

Mus"ca (?), n.; pl. Muscae (#). [L., a fly.]

1. Zool.

A genus of dipterous insects, including the common house fly, and numerous allied species.

⇒ Formerly, a large part of the Diptera were included under the genus Musca.

2. Astron.

A small constellation situated between the Southern Cross and the Pole.

Muscae volitantes (). [L., flying flies.] Med. Specks or filaments apparently seen moving or glinding about in the field of vision. Their appearance is often a symptom of disease of the eye, or of disorder of the nervous system.


© Webster 1913.

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