Universe Guide

Delphinus, The Dolphin Constellation

Delphinus Constellation Star Map

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. Delphinus is the 69th largest in terms of size in the night sky.

The constellation 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.

There are 7 stars that make up the main constellation. The hipparcos satellite scanned and detailed 521 stars. There are 18 stars that can be seen with the naked eye in the constellation on a very clear night sky.

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.

There are 5 Extrasolar Planets (Exoplanets) in this constellation that are detailed on this site. There is a dedicated page for exoplanets in Delphinus.

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 Delphinus

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 100.89 light years and the furthest main star is a distance of 330.46 light years. The average distance to the main stars is 199.24 light years.

Delphinus 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.

Gliese 795, Delphinus's Nearest Star

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.

TX Delphini, Delphinus's Furthest Star

The furthest star that is located in the constellation is TX Delphini and it is 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.

Rotanev, Brightest Star in Delphinus

The brightest star in Delphinus is Rotanev and is located about 105.45 light years from the Sun. The star has a apparent magnitude of 3.64 but an absolute magnitude of 1.19 when the star is viewed from a distance of 10 Parsecs or 32.6 Light Years. The star is only recognised as being Beta Delphini rather than having Alpha status.

HD 196775, Delphinus's Dimmest Visible Star

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.

Delphinus Mythology

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.

How to Find and View Delphinus in the Night Sky

Northern Hemisphere

It can be seen in an easterly direction in June when it is still light. It will be higher in the sky was the night goes on. It does a somersault in the air before disappearing in December like in the southern hemisphere.

Southern Hemisphere

Delphinus can be seen from about June but is fully visible from July on the horizon in an easterly direction. It does a somsersault in the air before disappearing in December.

Delphinus Facts

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
Brightest StarRotanev
Dimmest StarHD 196775
Furthest StarTX Delphini
Bright Star Count18
Hipparcos Star Count521
Main Star Count7
Messier Deep Space Object Count0
Bordering / Neighbouring / Surrounding ConstellationsVulpecula

*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 Delphinus

NameTypeDistanceDeclinationRight Ascension
Blue Flash NebulaPlanetary Nebula7,50020:06:1620h 22h 23
NGC 6819Planetary Nebula12:42:1520h 15h 08
NGC 6891Planetary Nebula+12 42 15.58547030120 15 08m 8436589777
NGC 6934Globular Cluster+07 24 16.120 34 11m 37
NGC 7006Globular Cluster16:11:14.421h 1h 29m 4

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