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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Aquarius is seen low on the horizon between June and September.
Aquarius is visible from about mid-may through to December. It will get higher in the sky in the southern hemisphere compared to the northern hemisphere.
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.
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.
|Name||Activity||Peak Activity||Closest Star|
|Daytime c Aquariids||13th Feb|
|Daytime kappa Aquariids||15th March|
|Eta Aquarids||April 21-May 12||May 5/6||Hydria|
|Tau Aquariids||27 Jun- 6 Jul||28-Jun||Tau1 Aquarii|
|Southern Delta Aquariids||Jul 12 - Aug 19||Jul 28||Skat|
|Southern Iota Aquariids||July 1-September 18||Aug. 6/7||Iota Aquarii|
|August Nu Aquariids||12th August|
|Northern Delta Aquariids||July 16-Sepember 10||Aug. 13/14||Skat|
|Northern Iota Aquariids||Aug 11-Sep 10||Aug. 25/26||Iota Aquarii|
|Gamma Aquariids||September 1-14||Sept. 7/8||Sadachbia|
|kappa Aquariids||22nd September|
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.
|Name||Bayer||Distance (Lt.Yr.)||Right Ascension||Declination||Spectral Type||Colour|
|Sadalmelik||Alpha Aquarii||523.54||22h 05m 47.03||-00d 19` 11.4||G2Ib||Yellow|
|Sadalsuud||Beta Aquarii||537.34||21h 31m 33.52||-05d 34` 16.2||G0Ib||Yellow|
|Sadachbia||Gamma Aquarii||163.74||22h 21m 39.30||-01d 23` 14.5||A0V||White|
|Skat||Delta Aquarii||160.59||22h 54m 39.04||-15d 49` 14.7||A3V||White|
|Albali||Epsilon Aquarii||207.75||20h 47m 40.53||-09d 29` 44.5||A1V||White|
|Zeta Aquarii||Zeta Aquarii||91.88||22h 28m 49.80||-00d 01` 12.2||F3III-IV||Yellow/White|
|Hydria||Eta Aquarii||167.87||22h 35m 21.33||-00d 07` 02.5||B9IV-Vn||Blue/White|
|Ancha||Theta Aquarii||187.45||22h 16m 49.97||-07d 46` 59.7||G8III-IV||Yellow|
|Iota Aquarii||Iota Aquarii||175.17||22h 06m 26.21||-13d 52` 10.3||B8V||Blue/White|
|Ekchusis||Lambda Aquarii||385.08||22h 52m 36.86||-07d 34` 46.8||M2IIIvar||Red|
|Nu Aquarii||Nu Aquarii||159.34||21h 09m 35.59||-11d 22` 18.0||G8III||Yellow|
|Pi Aquarii||Pi Aquarii||782.17||22h 25m 16.61||+01d 22` 38.6||B1Ve||Blue/White|
|88 Aquarii||270.67||23h 09m 26.76||-21d 10` 20.9||K1III||Orange|
|98 Aquarii||163.41||23h 22m 58.30||-20d 06` 01.2||K0III||Orange|
|Is a Zodiac Sign||Yes|
|Area||979.854 sq. deg.|
|Percentage of Night Sky||2.38%|
|Site Exoplanet Count||40|
|Meteor Shower Count||26|
|Nearest Star||Ross 780|
|Nearest Star with Exoplanet(s)||HIP 113020|
|Dimmest Star||4 Aquarii|
|Furthest Star||SX Aquarii|
|Bright Star Count||99|
|Hipparcos Star Count||2134|
|Main Star Count||14|
|Messier Deep Space Object Count||3|
|Bordering / Neighbouring / Surrounding Constellations||Pegasus|
*Note: The number of Non-Messier Deep Space Object Count relates to how many are covered on this site not how many there are.
|Helix Nebula (NGC7293)||Planetary Nebula||714 Ly||-20° 50' 13.6||22h 29m 38m 55|
|Messier 2 (NGC 7089)||Globular Cluster||33000||-00:49||21h 33m 5|
|Messier 72 (NGC6981)||Globular Cluster||53.40-55.74 kly||-12:32||20h 53m 5|
|Messier 73 (NGC6994)||Star Cluster (4 Star System)||~2.5 kly||-12:38||20h 58m 9|
|NGC 6962||LINER-type Active Galaxy Nucleus||+00 19 14.919360084||20 47 19m 0647983664|
|NGC 7727||Galaxy||-12 17 34.84||23 39 53m 870|
|Saturn Nebula||Planetary Nebula||-11d 21` 48.26||21h 04m 10m 877|
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