from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The constellation that includes the southern celestial pole.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. A small circumpolar constellation of the southern sky, said to resemble an octant. It lies closest to the southern celestial pole of any constellation.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the constellation that includes the southern celestial pole


Latin Octāns, half quadrant, from octō, eight; see oktō(u) in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Named by the French astronomer Nicolas Louis de Lacaille in 1763. From Latin octans, an "octant" (Wiktionary)


  • Octans Hadleianus after (now Octans) John Hadley (all astronomers)

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  • These include Carina CDO Ltd., named after a constellation in the southern sky, Orion 2006-2 Ltd., for a constellation named after a hunter, and Octans III CDO Ltd., named after another southern constellation.

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  • Morgan Stanley and UBS AG were among the banks that owned the top pieces of these CDOs, including Octans, according to people familiar with the situation.

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  • One consequence: In August 2006, Merrill Lynch bond executives decided to retain on the firm's books more than $900 million in mortgage securities to help Merrill complete a $1.5 billion underwriting of a CDO called Octans.

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  • It is Sigma Octantis, in the very dull southern constellation of Octans, the Octant.

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  • He is one of 15 suspects detained under the Australian Federal Police's "Operation Octans," carried out by authorities from the Netherlands, Thailand, Pakistan, Portugal, the United Kingdom and Australia.

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