Antlia is a constellation in the southern sky and therefore has been unknown to the ancient Greeks and Romans. Its name means “pump” and it specifically represents an air pump. It was created by the French astronomer Abbé Nicolas Louis de Lacaille, who created fourteen constellations for the southern sky to fill some of the faint regions. He originally named it Antlia pneumatica to commemorate the air pump invented by the French physicist Denis Papin. It was later adopted by the International Astronomical Union as one of the 88 modern constellations under the shortened name of Antlia.
Main Stars and Deep Sky Objects
The Antlia constellation has no bright stars. The brightest star is Alpha Antliae, a magnitude 4.25 orange giant. Notable deep sky objects include the NGC 2997 spiral galaxy of type Sc which is inclined 45° to our line of sight. There is also a dwarf spheroidal galaxy called the Antlia Dwarf that belongs to our Local Group of galaxies. It was discovered recently (in 1997) since it has a magnitude of only 14.8.
For more constellations see the Constellations Guide.