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Delphinus, The Dolphin Constellation

Delphinus (Pronounciation:Del-fine-us, Abbrev:Del, Latin:Delphini) is a constellation, one of 88 constellations that the night sky is divided into. The sky is not divided up equally between the constellations. Delphinus takes up 188.549 sq. degrees of the night sky which equates to 0.46% of the night sky. The constellation gets its name as it name means The Dolphin . 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.

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

The brightest star in Delphinus is Rotanev. There are 5 Extrasolar Planets (Exoplanets) in this constellation that are detailed on this site. There is a dedicated page for exoplanets in Delphinus. For a list of named stars, that is stars that don't start HD or HIP, please visit Delphinus Star List Page.

Delphinus Star and Deep Space Object Count

The number of stars that have been catalogued as part of the Hipparcos Star Catalogue from Delphinus is 521. The number of stars that are of magnitude 6.0 or lower in the constellation is 18. The number of stars in the constellation that make up the outline is 6.

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.

Stars of Interest

The nearest star to Earth is Gliese 795 which is roughly about 54.54 Light Years from the Earth. The nearest star to the Earth with an exoplanet is HD 196885 which is about 109.34 Light Years. The furthest star that can be located in the constellation is HIP 102853 which is located about 81540.84 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 dimmest star that can be seen in Delphinus with the naked eye is HD 196775. 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

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.

Constellation Mythological Legend

Delphinus is the dolphin that persuaded Amphitrite, a nereid that she should accept Poseidon's wooing. Amphitrite had wanted to keep her virginity thus running off. Delphinus was one of those tasked with finding her. Another story has Delphinus as the dolphin who saved the Greek poet Arion of Lesbos from drowning after he was thrown overboard.

There are no major meteor showers that radiate from within this constellation.

Delphinus Facts


NameDelphinus
AbbreviationDel
Is a Zodiac Sign No
Brightest StarRotanev
Area188.549 sq. deg.
Percentage of Night Sky0.46%
Size Position69th
Hemisphere Northern
Site Exoplanet Count5
Meteor Shower Count3
Nearest StarGliese 795
Nearest Star with Exoplanet(s)HD 196885
Dimmest StarHD 196775
Furthest StarHIP 102853
Bright Star Count18
Hipparcos Star Count521
Main Star Count6
Messier Deep Space Object Count0
*Non-Messier Deep Space Object Count0
Bordering / Neighbouring / Surrounding ConstellationsVulpecula
Sagitta
Aquila
Aquarius
Equuleus
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.


Delphinus Constellation Map


Delphinus Constellation Star Map

The map was generated using Night Vision, an awesome free application by Brian Simpson.



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