Lacerta (Pronounciation:Lac-er-ta, Abbrev:Lac, Latin:Lacertae) is a constellation, one of 88 constellations that the night sky is divided into. The sky is not divided up equally between the constellations. Lacerta takes up 200.688 sq. degrees of the night sky which equates to 0.49% of the night sky. Lacerta is the 68th largest in terms of size in the night sky.
The constellation name means The Lizard . It was not one of the original constellations that had been devised by Ptolemy, instead it was created by Johannes Hevelius years later.
There are 7 stars that make up the main constellation. The hipparcos satellite scanned and detailed 882 stars. There are 36 stars that can be seen with the naked eye in the constellation on a very clear night sky.
Lacerta is not a member of the Zodiac group of twelve constellations that appear when the Sun sets. Lacerta is a northern hemispheric constellation which means it can't be seen easily or at all from the southern hemisphere.
There are 3 Extrasolar Planets (Exoplanets) in this constellation that are detailed on this site. There is a dedicated page for exoplanets in Lacerta. The current largest star so far identified in the constellation of Lacerta is U Lacertae.
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.
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 102.60 light years and the furthest main star is a distance of 2,249.40 light years. The average distance to the main stars is 1,008.84 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 furthest star that is located in the constellation is HIP 109105 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 Lacerta is Alpha Lacertae and is located about 103.69 light years from the Sun. The star has a apparent magnitude of 3.76 but an absolute magnitude of 1.27 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 Lacerta with the naked eye is HD 214878. The dim star has an apparent magnitude of 5.94. 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.
Created by Johannes Hevelius in around 1687 and recognised by the International Astronomical Union. It is not a bright constellation, it fits in between the constellations of Andromeda and Cygnus. Of comments I've seen, not a terribly liked constellation.
|Is a Zodiac Sign||No|
|Brightest Star||Alpha Lacertae|
|Area||200.688 sq. deg.|
|Percentage of Night Sky||0.49%|
|Site Exoplanet Count||3|
|Meteor Shower Count||3|
|Nearest Star||EV Lacertae|
|Largest Star||U Lacertae|
|Brightest Star||Alpha Lacertae|
|Dimmest Star||HD 214878|
|Furthest Star||HIP 109105|
|Bright Star Count||36|
|Hipparcos Star Count||882|
|Main Star Count||7|
|Messier Deep Space Object Count||0|
|Bordering / Neighbouring / Surrounding Constellations||Cepheus|
*Note: The number of Non-Messier Deep Space Object Count relates to how many are covered on this site not how many there are.
|NGC 7197||Spiral Galaxy||+41 03 32.30||22 02 58m 059|
|NGC 7227||Spiral Galaxy||+38 43 16.88||22 11 31m 340|
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