Abbreviation:  Mon
English Name:  The Unicorn
Genitive: Lucida
Hemisphere:  Northern and Southern Hemisphere. (Underlined means the more area in square feet in Southern Hemisphere.)
Location: Between the constellations of Canis Minor and Orion.
Visible between latitudes:  
+75 and -85 degrees
Best season: Late Winter.
Seen in three seasons: Autumn, Winter and Spring
Best seen in:  March
Seen between: February and April.
Right Ascension (RA):  07 hour
Declination (DEC):  -05 degrees
Area (square degrees):  482 (35th)

Monoceros  (The Unicorn)

  • Monoceros is not very easily seen with the naked-eye, but often overlooked in favour of its glittering neighbouring constellations – specially Orion, but it lies in the Milky-Way.
  • It contains some famous clusters and nebulae – Rosette Nebula, also the Open Cluster – Messier 50 (M50).
  • Also the massive binary known as Plaskett’s Star.
  • However, Monoceros does have some interesting features to observe with the aid of a small telescope. Beta Monocerotis is an impressive triple star system, the three stars forming a triangle which seems to be fixed.

Messier Objects

  • M50  –  Open Cluster; remarkable objects – about half the apparent size of the Full Moon and easy visible in binocular.

Features of Interest

  • NGC 2244  –  The stars of Open Cluster (at the centre of this picture) are enveloped in the Rosette Nebula. The Open Cluster is easily visible through binoculars – however, excellent skies are needed to trace the outline of the surrounding Rosette Nebula which is four times larger to show up well only on photographs.
  • NGC 2264  –  Open Cluster; views through a small telescope it appears triangular in shape; also known as Christmas Tree Cluster or Cone Nebula.

Named Stars

  • Alpha Monocerotis (Lucida)


  • Photo of the constellation; Monoceros, as it appears to the naked eye. (Lines have been added for clarity.)
  • Sky Chart  –  Monoceros
  • List of stars in Monoceros.


Back to The 88 Constellations Lists  page.

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