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.
The distance to Aquila is not calculable because all the stars that make up the constellation are at various distances. The best answer for distance to Aquila is to calculate the average distance of the stars.
There are 18 Extrasolar Planets (Exoplanets) in this constellation that are detailed on this site. There is a dedicated page for exoplanets in Aquila. For a list of named stars, that is stars that don't start HD or HIP, please visit Aquila Star List Page.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
There are 7 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|
|Epsilon Aquilids||May 4-27||May17/18||Deneb al Okab Borealis|
|Is a Zodiac Sign||No|
|Area||652.473 sq. deg.|
|Percentage of Night Sky||1.58%|
|Site Exoplanet Count||18|
|Meteor Shower Count||7|
|Nearest Star with Exoplanet(s)||HD 183263|
|Dimmest Star||80 G. Aquilae|
|Furthest Star||HIP 95541|
|Bright Star Count||72|
|Hipparcos Star Count||1655|
|Main Star Count||7|
|Messier Deep Space Object Count||0|
|*Non-Messier Deep Space Object Count||0|
|Bordering / Neighbouring / Surrounding Constellations||Sagittarius|
*Note: The number of Non-Messier Deep Space Object Count relates to how many are covered on this site not how many there are.
|SN W49b||Supernova Remnant||33,000 Light Years||+09:06:24||19h 11m 09s|