Pyxis is a small and faint constellation in the southern sky. The name comes from Pyxis Nautica, Latin for a mariner's compass (as opposed to a draftsman's compass, represented by the constellation Circinus). Introduced by Nicolas Louis de Lacaille in the 18th century, Pyxis is counted among the 88 modern constellations. In the 19th century, astronomer John Herschel suggested renaming Pyxis to Malus, the mast, since it appears near the old constellation of the ship Argo Navis, but the suggestion was not followed. Pyxis is completely visible from latitudes south of 53 degrees north, with its best evening-sky visibility in February and March. The plane of the Milky Way passes through it. Its three brightest stars—Alpha, Beta and Gamma Pyxidis—are in a rough line; the brightest of these is Alpha (magnitude 3.68), a blue-white star around 22,000 times as luminous as the Sun. Near Alpha is T Pyxidis, a recurrent nova that has flared up to magnitude 7 every few decades. Three star systems have planets, all discovered by Doppler spectroscopy. (Full article...)
William H. Crawford (1772–1834) was an American politician and judge during the early 19th century. He served as United States Secretary of War and United States Secretary of the Treasury before running for president in the 1824 election. Born in Virginia, Crawford moved to Georgia at a young age and studied law. In 1803 he was elected to the Georgia House of Representatives, and in 1807 the Georgia legislature elected him to the United States Senate. Under President James Madison, he was made U.S. minister to France before taking several cabinet posts. Despite suffering a severe stroke in 1823, Crawford sought the presidency with the Democratic-Republican Party. As no candidate won a majority of the electoral vote, the United States House of Representatives selected John Quincy Adams as president from the three candidates who had received the most electoral votes. Crawford was then asked to remain at Treasury, but refused.