Universe Guide

Pavo, The Peacock Constellation

Pavo Constellation Star Map

Pavo (Pronounciation:Pave-oh, Abbrev:Pav, Latin:Pavonis) is a constellation, one of 88 constellations that the night sky is divided into. The sky is not divided up equally between the constellations. Pavo takes up 377.666 sq. degrees of the night sky which equates to 0.92% of the night sky. Pavo is the 44th largest in terms of size in the night sky.

The constellation name means The Peacock . It was not one of the original constellations that had been devised by Ptolemy, instead it was created by Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser and Frederick de Houtman years later.

There are 10 stars that make up the main constellation. The hipparcos satellite scanned and detailed 1246 stars. There are 44 stars that can be seen with the naked eye in the constellation on a very clear night sky.

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

There are 11 Extrasolar Planets (Exoplanets) in this constellation that are detailed on this site. There is a dedicated page for exoplanets in Pavo.

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 Pavo

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 19.92 light years and the furthest main star is a distance of 1,430.54 light years. The average distance to the main stars is 306.90 light years.

Pavo 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 86990, Pavo's Nearest Star

The nearest star to Earth is HIP 86990 which is roughly about 19.02 Light Years from the Earth. The nearest star to the Earth with an exoplanet is HD 189567 which is about 57.82 Light Years.

HIP 96968, Pavo's Furthest Star

The furthest star that is located in the constellation is HIP 96968 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.

Peacock, Brightest Star in Pavo

The brightest star in Pavo is Peacock and is located about 59.49 light years from the Sun. The star has a apparent magnitude of 1.94 but an absolute magnitude of -1.75 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 175401, Pavo's Dimmest Visible Star

The dimmest star that can be seen in Pavo with the naked eye is HD 175401. The dim star has an apparent magnitude of 5.98. 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.

Pavo Mythology

There is no Greek Legend behind this constellation. It was created by Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser and Frederick de Houtman to fill in the voids in the astronomical charts in the southern hemisphere.

Pavo Facts

Is a Zodiac Sign No
Brightest StarPeacock
Area377.666 sq. deg.
Percentage of Night Sky0.92%
Size Position44th
Hemisphere Southern
Site Exoplanet Count11
Meteor Shower Count4
Nearest StarHIP 86990
Nearest Star with Exoplanet(s)HD 189567
Brightest StarPeacock
Dimmest StarHD 175401
Furthest StarHIP 96968
Bright Star Count44
Hipparcos Star Count1246
Main Star Count10
Messier Deep Space Object Count0
Bordering / Neighbouring / Surrounding ConstellationsTelescopium

*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 Pavo

NameTypeDistanceDeclinationRight Ascension
IC4687Galaxy250,000,000-57 43 31.2518 13 39m 829
NGC 6752Globular Cluster13000–59d 59` 04.419h 10m 52m 11
NGC6744Spiral Galaxy30,000,000-63 51 27.1419 09 46m 099

Comments and Questions

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kimmberly litchnerWednesday, 16th March 2016 4:42:57 PM
the legend behind pavo is a greek on. Hera, wife of Zeus and hence the Queen of the heavens, was an excessively jealous wife. And with good reason; Zeus was excessively amorous. Scholars have assiduously traced at least fifty lovers and mistresses of this supreme Greek god. Io was one of these lovers. The trouble was, Io was one of Hera's priestesses, and Hera soon discovered the infidelity. To protect Io, Zeus transformed her into a heifer. But Hera was not fooled, and she claimed ownership over the heifer, then chose Argus Panoptes to guard the animal. As indicated by its name, Argus Panoptes was "all eyes". Indeed, the beast had one hundred eyes, which surely should have been sufficient to guard one small heifer. Zeus engaged Hermes with the task of rescuing Io. To avoid detection by one of Argus' one hundred eyes, Hermes charmed the animal with a flute when it was fast asleep, then threw a huge boulder on top of it, and for good measure cut off its head. An angry Hera set a gadfly to pester Io, who then roamed around most of the Mediterranean nations before finally settling down in Egypt, where Zeus changed her back into human form. She later established the worship of Isis in Egypt. As for the unfortunate Argus Panoptes, Hera put all of its many eyes on the tail of her sacred bird, the peacock. Only much later, in the seventeenth century, would the peacock itself become part of the heavenly zoo. Johann Bayer introduced the constellation in Uranometria in 1603, along with a number of other birds: Apus, Grus, Phoenix, and Tucana.
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