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Aquarius, The Water Carrier Constellation

Aquarius Constellation Star Map

Aquarius (Pronounciation:Ack-where-e-us, Abbrev:Aqr, Latin:Aquarii) is a constellation, one of 88 constellations that the night sky is divided into. The sky is not divided up equally between the constellations. Aquarius takes up 979.854 sq. degrees of the night sky which equates to 2.38% of the night sky. Aquarius is the 10th largest in terms of size in the night sky.

The constellation name means The Water Carrier . The constellation is one of the original constellations that was devised by the Ancient Greco-Egyptian astronomer Ptolemy who lived between 90 A.D. and 168 A.D.

There are 14 stars that make up the main constellation. The hipparcos satellite scanned and detailed 2134 stars. There are 99 stars that can be seen with the naked eye in the constellation on a very clear night sky.

Aquarius is a member constellation of the Zodiac grouping, a group of 12 star signs that astrologers use to predict someones future based on their date of birth and which constellation appeared when the Sun set. The Zodiac year may be divided up equally between the twelve signs but when they appear in the night sky no longer conforms to the Zodiac calendar. Aquarius is an equatorial constellation that can be seen by countries nearest the Equator.

There are 40 Extrasolar Planets (Exoplanets) in this constellation that are detailed on this site. There is a dedicated page for exoplanets in Aquarius.

There are 3 deep space objects that were identified by Charles Messier in this constellation. There are no non-Messier deep space objects in this constellation that are covered at present on this site.

The image at the top right of this page was generated using Night Vision, a free to use and download application by Brian Simspon.

Distance to Aquarius

You can't just go to one location and arrive at the constellation because the constellation is made up of stars at different locations and different distances. The nearest main star in the constellation is at a distance of 91.88 light years and the furthest main star is a distance of 782.17 light years. The average distance to the main stars is 284.00 light years.

Aquarius Star Facts

The caveat of these stars are that they are catalogued on this site. If you know of a star that is nearer or further then do let me know in the comments and I'll add it to the site. The stars mentioned are from the Hipparcos catalogue or have been added because of their special status.

Ross 780, Aquarius's Nearest Star

The nearest star to Earth is Ross 780 which is roughly about 15.29 Light Years from the Earth. The nearest star to the Earth with an exoplanet is HIP 113020 which is about 15.29 Light Years.

SX Aquarii, Aquarius's Furthest Star

The furthest star that is located in the constellation is SX Aquarii and it is 326163.3 light years away from the Sun. The furthest figure is derived from either the 1997 or 2007 Hipparcos star catalogue parallax figure and it has been known to produce distances that are wrong.

Sadalsuud, Brightest Star in Aquarius

The brightest star in Aquarius is Sadalsuud and is located about 19.80 light years from the Sun. The star has a apparent magnitude of 2.9 but an absolute magnitude of -3.18 when the star is viewed from a distance of 10 Parsecs or 32.6 Light Years. The star is only recognised as being Beta Aquarii rather than having Alpha status.

4 Aquarii, Aquarius's Dimmest Visible Star

The dimmest star that can be seen in Aquarius with the naked eye is 4 Aquarii. The dim star has an apparent magnitude of 5.99. The dimmest star that a person is able to see with their naked eye is 6.0 magnitude based on the table in the reference. Ref: University of Michigan.

Trappist-1

Trappist-1 is a small insignificant star in the constellation of Aquarius. With an apparent magnitude of 18.80, you need a telescope of at 18 inches to see it. What makes this star stand out is that it has one of the largest planetary solar systems so far discovered.

It has been discovered that the star has at least 7 stars, only our solar system has more. Some of the planets were said to be closed to the star and therefore in the Goldilocks zone. It is one of the few stars to have a dedicated webite.

How to Find and View Aquarius in the Night Sky

Northern Hemisphere

London, Great Britain

Aquarius can be seen in the sky from about 9pm in September but over the course of hours and months, the constellation doesn't get that high in the sky. By December, the constellation will have disappeared.

Miami, United States

Aquarius can be seen about September to January, the same as above but unlike London, it can reach higher into the sky at about 9pm.

Southern Hemisphere

Aquarius is visible from about August through to December. It will get higher in the sky in the southern hemisphere compared to the northern hemisphere.

Aquarius Mythology

Zeus took a liking to Ganymede, the son of Tros who built Troy. He instructed the boy to become his water bearer. The job had previously been done by Hebe, the daughter of Hera. Hera, Zeus's wife was angered at the relationship between Zeus and Ganymede that she let it be known. In revenge for Zeus glorifying Ganymede, Hera turned Ganymede into the constellation.

Ganymede is the same character from mythology that the Jupiter moon Ganymede gets its name. Ganymede is the largest moon that orbits Jupiter, the gas giant. In addition to being the largest Jupiter moon, it is the largest moon orbiting any planet in the solar system and its bigger than our moon. Our Moon is the largest in comparison to the planet it orbits.

Meteor Showers Radiating from Aquarius

There are 26 Meteor Showers that occur during the year within this constellation based on information gathered from Adam Mickiewicz University (Poland). The list below are major ones and which I have a date period for.

NameActivityPeak ActivityClosest Star
Daytime c Aquariids13th Feb  
Daytime kappa Aquariids15th March  
Eta AquaridsApril 21-May 12May 5/6Hydria
Tau Aquariids27 Jun- 6 Jul28-JunTau1 Aquarii
Southern Delta AquariidsJul 12 - Aug 19 Jul 28Skat
Southern Iota AquariidsJuly 1-September 18Aug. 6/7Iota Aquarii
August Nu Aquariids12th August  
Northern Delta AquariidsJuly 16-Sepember 10Aug. 13/14Skat
Northern Iota AquariidsAug 11-Sep 10Aug. 25/26Iota Aquarii
Gamma AquariidsSeptember 1-14Sept. 7/8Sadachbia
kappa Aquariids22nd September  


List of Main Stars in Aquarius

The following list contains the stars that make up the constellation. For a larger list of stars in the entire constellation area, please visit the For a list of named stars, that is stars that don't start HD or HIP, please visit Aquarius Star List page.

NameBayerDistance (Lt.Yr.)Right AscensionDeclinationSpectral TypeColour
SadalmelikAlpha Aquarii523.5422h 05m 47.03-00d 19` 11.4G2IbYellow
SadalsuudBeta Aquarii537.3421h 31m 33.52-05d 34` 16.2G0IbYellow
SadachbiaGamma Aquarii163.7422h 21m 39.30-01d 23` 14.5A0VWhite
SkatDelta Aquarii160.5922h 54m 39.04-15d 49` 14.7A3VWhite
AlbaliEpsilon Aquarii207.7520h 47m 40.53-09d 29` 44.5A1VWhite
Zeta AquariiZeta Aquarii91.8822h 28m 49.80-00d 01` 12.2F3III-IVYellow/White
HydriaEta Aquarii167.8722h 35m 21.33-00d 07` 02.5B9IV-VnBlue/White
AnchaTheta Aquarii187.4522h 16m 49.97-07d 46` 59.7G8III-IVYellow
Iota AquariiIota Aquarii175.1722h 06m 26.21-13d 52` 10.3B8VBlue/White
EkchusisLambda Aquarii385.0822h 52m 36.86-07d 34` 46.8M2IIIvarRed
Nu AquariiNu Aquarii159.3421h 09m 35.59-11d 22` 18.0G8IIIYellow
Pi AquariiPi Aquarii782.1722h 25m 16.61+01d 22` 38.6B1VeBlue/White
88 Aquarii270.6723h 09m 26.76-21d 10` 20.9K1IIIOrange
98 Aquarii163.4123h 22m 58.30-20d 06` 01.2K0IIIOrange

Aquarius Facts


NameAquarius
AbbreviationAqr
Is a Zodiac Sign Yes
Brightest StarSadalsuud
Area979.854 sq. deg.
Percentage of Night Sky2.38%
Size Position10th
Hemisphere Equatorial
Site Exoplanet Count40
Meteor Shower Count26
Nearest StarRoss 780
Nearest Star with Exoplanet(s)HIP 113020
Brightest StarSadalsuud
Dimmest Star4 Aquarii
Furthest StarSX Aquarii
Bright Star Count99
Hipparcos Star Count2134
Main Star Count14
Messier Deep Space Object Count3
Bordering / Neighbouring / Surrounding ConstellationsPegasus
Equuleus
Delphinus
Aquila
Capricornus
Piscis Austrinus
Sculptor
Cetus
Pisces

*Note: The number of Non-Messier Deep Space Object Count relates to how many are covered on this site not how many there are.


List of Deep Space Objects (Galaxies, Nebulas, Supernovas, etc) in Aquarius


NameTypeDistanceDeclinationRight Ascension
Helix Nebula (NGC7293)Planetary Nebula714 -20° 50' 13.622h 29m 38m 55
Messier 2 (NGC 7089)Globular Cluster33000-00:4921h 33m 5
Messier 72 (NGC6981)Globular Cluster53,400 - 55,740-12:3220h 53m 5
Messier 73 (NGC6994)Star Cluster (4 Star System)2,500-12:3820h 58m 9
NGC 6962LINER-type Active Galaxy Nucleus+00 19 14.91936008420 47 19m 0647983664
NGC 7047Liner-Active Galaxy Nucleus-00 49 35.3921 16 27m 634
NGC 7077Elliptical Galaxy+02 24 51.7521 29 59m 634
NGC 7167Spiral Galaxy-24 37 57.3422 00 30m 637
NGC 7247Spiral Galaxy-23 43 51.58132605322 17 41m 2557159174
NGC 7257Spiral Galaxy-04 07 14.68737350922 22 36m 4348892730
NGC 7287Spiral Galaxy-22 12 0822 28 48m 6
NGC 7377Spiral Galaxy-22 18 43.4622 47 47m 505
NGC 7522Unknown Object-22 52 3923 13 51m 6
NGC 7573Spiral Galaxy-22 09 15.30548345923 16 26m 3503133875
NGC 7576Spiral Galaxy-04 43 40.23972883623 17 22m 7428928621
NGC 7585Spiral Galaxy-04 39 01.0723 18 01m 348
NGC 7592Spiral Galaxy-04 24 5723 18 22m 0
NGC 7596Lenticular Galaxy-06 54 43.10933631423 17 11m 9820318720
NGC 7600Spiral Galaxy-07 34 49.70472623723 18 53m 8404957205
NGC 7606Spiral Galaxy-08 29 06.5023 19 04m 805
NGC 7646Spiral Galaxy-11 51 38.6923 24 06m 951
NGC 7656Spiral Galaxy-19 03 32.9323 24 31m 435
NGC 7663Spiral Galaxy-04 57 59.1823 26 45m 180
NGC 7665Galaxy-09 23 12.9523 27 14m 832
NGC 7692Galaxy-05 35 48.9223 32 46m 758
NGC 7717Galaxy-15 07 06.43420548323 37 43m 6609292923
NGC 7727Galaxy-12 17 34.8423 39 53m 870
Saturn NebulaPlanetary Nebula-11d 21` 48.2621h 04m 10m 877


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