Lupus (Pronounciation:Loo-puss, Abbrev:Lup, Latin:Lupi) is a constellation, one of 88 constellations that the night sky is divided into. The sky is not divided up equally between the constellations. Lupus takes up 333.683 sq. degrees of the night sky which equates to 0.81% of the night sky. Lupus is the 46th largest in terms of size in the night sky.
The constellation name means The Wolf . 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 1281 stars. There are 74 stars that can be seen with the naked eye in the constellation on a very clear night sky.
Lupus is not a member of the Zodiac group of twelve constellations that appear when the Sun sets. Lupus is a southern hemispheric constellation which means it can't be seen easily or at all from the northern hemisphere.
There are no deep space objects that were identified by Charles Messier in this constellation. There are 1 non-Messier deep space objects that are covered on this site and the list is below.
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 117.32 light years and the furthest main star is a distance of 883.91 light years. The average distance to the main stars is 384.49 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 nearest star to Earth is HIP 76074 which is roughly about 19.34 Light Years from the Earth. The nearest star to the Earth with an exoplanet is HIP 70849 which is about 76.89 Light Years.
The furthest star that is located in the constellation is KM Lupi and it is 326163.3 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 Lupus is Men and is located about 22.90 light years from the Sun. The star has a apparent magnitude of 2.3 but an absolute magnitude of -3.47 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 Lupus with the naked eye is HD 143790. 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.
Lupus is not visible from a lot of the Northern Hemisphere.
It is possible to see Lupus, the Hare from about mid-June but to see it you will need to stay up very late in the evening and even then it is low on the horizon. The best time would be about 9pm in August, still low but its better than nothing. It can be seen in a southernly direction.
Lupus is visible starting from January but is not fully visible until the middle of February when it will appear in the the south east. It will no longer be visible by mid to end of September.
No real story lies behind the story of Lupus. It was not clearly identified until much later after Ptolemy's death. Some people say it represents a wolf killed by a Centaurus on the Altar of Ara.
|Is a Zodiac Sign||No|
|Area||333.683 sq. deg.|
|Percentage of Night Sky||0.81%|
|Site Exoplanet Count||9|
|Meteor Shower Count||1|
|Nearest Star||HIP 76074|
|Nearest Star with Exoplanet(s)||HIP 70849|
|Dimmest Star||HD 143790|
|Furthest Star||KM Lupi|
|Bright Star Count||74|
|Hipparcos Star Count||1281|
|Main Star Count||11|
|Messier Deep Space Object Count||0|
|Bordering / Neighbouring / Surrounding Constellations||Libra|
*Note: The number of Non-Messier Deep Space Object Count relates to how many are covered on this site not how many there are.
|Retina Nebula||Nebula||2,000||44:09:04||14h 22h 26|
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