(the Centaur; abbrev. Cen, gen. Centauri; area 1060 sq. deg.) A southern constellation which lies between Vela and Lupus, and surrounds Crux on three sides. It culminates at midnight in early April. Its origin dates back at least to ancient Greece, where it was identified with Chiron in Greek mythology. The brightest stars of Centaurus were cataloged by Ptolemy (c. AD 100–175) in the Almagest.