Universe Guide

Aquila, The Eagle Constellation

Aquila Constellation Star Map

Aquila (Pronounciation:A-quill-a, Abbrev:Aql, Latin:Aquilae) is a constellation, one of 88 constellations that the night sky is divided into. The sky is not divided up equally between the constellations. Aquila takes up 652.473 sq. degrees of the night sky which equates to 1.58% of the night sky. Aquila is the 22nd largest in terms of size in the night sky.

The constellation name means The Eagle . 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 7 stars that make up the main constellation. The hipparcos satellite scanned and detailed 1655 stars. There are 72 stars that can be seen with the naked eye in the constellation on a very clear night sky.

Aquila is not a member of the Zodiac group of twelve constellations that appear when the Sun sets. Aquila is a northern hemispheric constellation which means it can't be seen easily or at all from the southern hemisphere.

There are 18 Extrasolar Planets (Exoplanets) in this constellation that are detailed on this site. There is a dedicated page for exoplanets in Aquila.

There are no 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 Aquila

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 16.73 light years and the furthest main star is a distance of 394.87 light years. The average distance to the main stars is 142.86 light years.

Aquila 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.

Altair, Aquila's Nearest Star

The nearest star to Earth is Altair which is roughly about 16.73 Light Years from the Earth. The nearest star to the Earth with an exoplanet is HD 183263 which is about 179.7 Light Years.

HIP 95541, Aquila's Furthest Star

The furthest star that is located in the constellation is HIP 95541 and it is 163081.7 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.

Altair, Brightest Star in Aquila

The brightest star in Aquila is Altair and is located about 635.86 light years from the Sun. The star has a apparent magnitude of 0.76 but an absolute magnitude of 2.21 when the star is viewed from a distance of 10 Parsecs or 32.6 Light Years. The star is recognised as being the brightest in the constellation as it has the Bayer status of Alpha.

80 G. Aquilae, Aquila's Dimmest Visible Star

The dimmest star that can be seen in Aquila with the naked eye is 80 G. Aquilae. The dim star has an apparent magnitude of 6. 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.

Aquila Mythology

Aquila was the eagle that carried Zeus' thunderbolts. Aquila was used by Zeus to fetch the shepherd boy Ganymede. Ganymede is represented in the skies by both the constellation of Aquarius and the Jovian moon, Ganymede.

How to Find and View Aquila in the Night Sky

Northern Hemisphere

Aquila can be seen from July in an Easterly direction from July. It is best to look after 9 p.m. when it is darker. It will remain in the skies, disappearing fully in December. The head of the Aquila will be the last thing to disappear below the horizon.

Southern Hemisphere

The Constellation can be seen from end of June/beginning of July in a East to North-East direction where it will be visible for the rest of the year disappearing by the end of the year. It will disappear in a north westerly direction.

Meteor Showers Radiating from Aquila

There are 8 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
Epsilon AquilidsMay 4-27May17/18Deneb al Okab Borealis

List of Main Stars in Aquila

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 Aquila Star List page.

NameBayerDistance (Lt.Yr.)Right AscensionDeclinationSpectral TypeColour
AltairAlpha Aquilae16.7319h 50m 46.68+08d 52` 02.6A7IV-VWhite
AlshainBeta Aquilae44.6819h 55m 18.77+06d 24` 28.6G8IVvarYellow
TarazedGamma Aquilae394.8719h 46m 15.57+10d 36` 47.8K3IIOrange
Delta AquilaeDelta Aquilae50.6419h 25m 29.75+03d 06` 52.5F0IVYellow/White
OkabZeta Aquilae83.0419h 05m 24.61+13d 51` 49.4A0VnWhite
Tseen FooTheta Aquilae286.3620h 11m 18.26-00d 49` 17.3B9.5IIIBlue/White
Lambda AquilaeLambda Aquilae123.6919h 06m 14.95-04d 52` 56.4B9VnBlue/White

Aquila Facts

Is a Zodiac Sign No
Brightest StarAltair
Area652.473 sq. deg.
Percentage of Night Sky1.58%
Size Position22nd
Hemisphere Northern
Site Exoplanet Count18
Meteor Shower Count8
Nearest StarAltair
Nearest Star with Exoplanet(s)HD 183263
Brightest StarAltair
Dimmest Star80 G. Aquilae
Furthest StarHIP 95541
Bright Star Count72
Hipparcos Star Count1655
Main Star Count7
Messier Deep Space Object Count0
Bordering / Neighbouring / Surrounding ConstellationsSagittarius

*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 Aquila

NameTypeDistanceDeclinationRight Ascension
Bubble GalaxySpiral Galaxy40,000,00000:02:15.3011h 05h 48m 76
Glowing Eye NebulaPlanetary Nebula6,500 -5° 59' 30.34"19 5 55m 36
NGC 6803Planetary Nebula+10 03 21.719 31 16m 47
NGC 6814Seyfert 1 Galaxy-10 19 25.10213389819 42 40m 5857305428
SN W49bSupernova Remnant33,000+09:06:2419h 11m 09s

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