Norma is a quite small constellation of the southern hemisphere
belonging to the La Caille constellation
family. It lies north of
Australe and west of Ara
. In the north Norma is surrounded by
Scorpius. The Milky Way
still runs brilliant through this constellation.
The orginal boundaries have been changed since its stars first have been delineated to form a star group. So nowadays there are no stars labelled with alpha Nor and beta Nor.
Stars and other objects
The double gamma1/gamma2 Nor is a visual binary. The two unrelated
stars are a F9 supergiant of 4.99 mag and a G8 giant with 4.02 mag.
With a small telescope the 8th mag companion of the B4 main sequence star epsilon Nor can be seen. With the large telescopes of the observatories both stars are revealed to be spectroscopic binaries (they are too close to be split in a telescope but their spectra show the existence of an second component). So this is actually a four star system.
A small telescope is sufficient to resolve the A7 subgiant iota1 Nor of 4.63 mag and its 8th mag companion (separation 11"). With a telescope of at least 200mm aperture iota1 Nor can be split into a pair of stars. They revolve each other with a period of 26 years.
The Cepheid variable star S Nor (spectraltype F8-G0Ib; 6.49 mag) is one of the 35 star building the open star cluster NGC 6087, which is a good object for binoculars.
In early spring, from March 11th to March 21th the meteor shower Gamma Normids is active. The maximum of the shower activity is reached on March 16th.