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Lepus, The Hare Constellation Facts and Mythology

Lepus Constellation Star Map

Lepus (Pronounciation:Lee-puss, Abbrev:Lep, Latin:Leporis) is a constellation, one of 88 constellations that the night sky is divided into. The sky is not divided up equally between the constellations. Lepus takes up 290.291 sq. degrees of the night sky which equates to 0.7% of the night sky. Lepus is the 51st largest in terms of size in the night sky.

The constellation name means The Hare . 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 11 stars that make up the main constellation. The hipparcos satellite scanned and detailed 726 stars. There are 45 stars that can be seen with the naked eye in the constellation on a very clear night sky.

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

The distance to Lepus is not calculable because all the stars that make up the constellation are at various distances. The best answer for distance to Lepus is to calculate the average distance of the stars.

There are 10 Extrasolar Planets (Exoplanets) in this constellation that are detailed on this site. There is a dedicated page for exoplanets in Lepus. The current largest star so far identified in the constellation of Lepus is R Leporis.

There are 1 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.

Lepus 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 229, Nearest Star

The nearest star to Earth is Gliese 229 which is roughly about 18.77 Light Years from the Earth. Gliese 229 is also the nearest star in the constellation of Lepus with at least one orbiting exoplanet.

HIP 28132, Furthest Star

The furthest star that is located in the constellation is HIP 28132 and it is 65232.67 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.

Arneb, Brightest Star in Lepus

The brightest star in Lepus is Arneb and is located about 4.79 light years from the Sun. The star has a apparent magnitude of 2.58 but an absolute magnitude of -6.58 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.

HD 33093, Dimmest Visible Star

The dimmest star that can be seen in Lepus with the naked eye is HD 33093. The dim star has an apparent magnitude of 5.97. 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.

Lepus Mythology

There is no real mythological story behind it. It probably played a minor part in the Orion story hence its location.

Lepus Facts

Is a Zodiac Sign No
Largest StarR Leporis
Brightest StarArneb
Area290.291 sq. deg.
Percentage of Night Sky0.7%
Size Position51st
Hemisphere Southern
Site Exoplanet Count10
Meteor Shower Count0
Nearest StarGliese 229
Nearest Star with Exoplanet(s)Gliese 229
Largest StarR Leporis
Brightest StarArneb
Dimmest StarHD 33093
Furthest StarHIP 28132
Bright Star Count45
Hipparcos Star Count726
Main Star Count11
Messier Deep Space Object Count1
*Non-Messier Deep Space Object Count0
Canis Major

*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 Lepus

NameTypeDistanceDeclinationRight Ascension
IC 418Planetary Nebula-12d 41` 50.26505h 27m 28m 20
Messier 79 (NGC1904)Globular Cluster41000-24:3305h 24m 5

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