Universe Guide

Lupus, The Wolf Constellation

Lupus Constellation Star Map

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

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.

Distance to Lupus

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.

Lupus 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.

HIP 76074, Lupus's Nearest Star

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.

KM Lupi, Lupus's Furthest Star

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.

Men, Brightest Star in Lupus

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.

HD 143790, Lupus's Dimmest Visible Star

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.

How to Find and View Lupus in the Night Sky

Northern Hemisphere

London, United Kingdom

Lupus is not visible from a lot of the Northern Hemisphere.

Miami, United States

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.

Southern Hemisphere

Lupus is fully visible from about April in a south-easterly direction low on the horizon at about 9 p.m. In the ensuing months, it will rise into the sky peaking about July time. It can be viewed earlier but you would need to stay up later. If you wanted to see it in April high in the sky as you can't wait, you would need to stay up or get up as early as 4 am in the morning.

Lupus Mythology

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.

Lupus Facts

Is a Zodiac Sign No
Brightest StarMen
Area333.683 sq. deg.
Percentage of Night Sky0.81%
Size Position46th
Hemisphere Southern
Site Exoplanet Count9
Meteor Shower Count1
Nearest StarHIP 76074
Nearest Star with Exoplanet(s)HIP 70849
Brightest StarMen
Dimmest StarHD 143790
Furthest StarKM Lupi
Bright Star Count74
Hipparcos Star Count1281
Main Star Count11
Messier Deep Space Object Count0
Bordering / Neighbouring / Surrounding ConstellationsLibra

*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 Lupus

NameTypeDistanceDeclinationRight Ascension
Retina NebulaNebula2,00044:09:0414h 22h 26

Comments and Questions

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