Pegasus (Pronounciation:Peg-a-sus, Abbrev:Peg, Latin:Pegasi) is a constellation, one of 88 constellations that the night sky is divided into. The sky is not divided up equally between the constellations. Pegasus takes up 1120.794 sq. degrees of the night sky which equates to 2.72% of the night sky. Pegasus is the 7th largest in terms of size in the night sky.
The constellation name means The Winged Horse . 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 13 stars that make up the main constellation. The hipparcos satellite scanned and detailed 2689 stars. There are 98 stars that can be seen with the naked eye in the constellation on a very clear night sky.
Pegasus is not a member of the Zodiac group of twelve constellations that appear when the Sun sets. Pegasus is a northern hemispheric constellation which means it can't be seen easily or at all from the southern hemisphere.
The distance to Pegasus is not calculable because all the stars that make up the constellation are at various distances. The best answer for distance to Pegasus is to calculate the average distance of the stars.
There are 26 Extrasolar Planets (Exoplanets) in this constellation that are detailed on this site. There is a dedicated page for exoplanets in Pegasus. The current largest star so far identified in the constellation of Pegasus is S Pegasi.
There are 1 deep space objects that were identified by Charles Messier in this constellation. There are 2 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.
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 108953 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 Pegasus is Markab and is located about 79.78 light years from the Sun. The star has a apparent magnitude of 2.49 but an absolute magnitude of -0.57 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 Pegasus with the naked eye is 18 Pegasi. 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.
51 Pegasi was the first Sun like star to be identified as having a planet in orbit round it. The planet was nicknamed Bellerophon but it would later have the official name of Dimidium. Before Helvetios, exoplanets round more inhospitable locations were found. Later analysis of the planet found the planet being boiled away by being too close and therefore all hope of life existing on the planet went to.
Pegasus can be viewed as soon as it gets dark in London in a southernly direction, over the course of hours and days, it will nose dive in a westernly direction. It will be partially visible in March at about 7pm and will have disappeared later on. It will be viewable in late August after 9pm when it will on the NE-E horizon. Over the next hours and months, it will rise into the sky but not by much.
The earlier you can see it, the better, the later you see it, the more it will be heading to disappear under the horizon. In January, its good to see it about 7-9 pm. From September, it can be clearly viewed NE-E direction as it makes a return to the skies for the rest of the year.
The best time to see Pegasus is September to February when it is on the horizon. It will not get very far off the horizon so you might not get a good view.
The best time to see Pegasus is December when it reaches the highest point before coming back down. Its best to see the constellation as soon as it gets dark otherwise the constellation will start coming back down out of focus and disappear.
According to Greek Mythology, the ancient story of Pegasus is different. When Perseus beheaded the Gorgon Medusa, the woman with a tail for a body and snakes for hair, Pegasus was released. Pegasus would be tamed by Bellerophon and used in the quest to kill the Chimera. The Chimera was a creature that had the body and head of a lion and could fly with wings. At the end of its tail was another head.
There are 21 Meteor Showers that occur during the year within this constellation based on information gathered from Adam Mickiewicz University (Poland). The list below are major ones and which I have a date period for.
|Name||Activity||Peak Activity||Closest Star|
|Daytime q Pegasids||15th March|
|Pegasids||July 7-13||July 9th||Markab|
|September Rho Pegasids||20th September|
|November Gamma Pegasids||11th November|
The following list contains the stars that make up the constellation. For a larger list of stars in the entire constellation area, please visit the For a list of named stars, that is stars that don't start HD or HIP, please visit Pegasus Star List page.
|Name||Bayer||Distance (Lt.Yr.)||Right Ascension||Declination||Spectral Type||Colour|
|Markab||Alpha Pegasi||133.35||23h 04m 45.62||+15d 12` 19.3||B9.5III||Blue/White|
|Scheat||Beta Pegasi||196.01||23h 03m 46.33||+28d 04` 56.8||M2II-IIIvar||Red|
|Algenib||Gamma Pegasi||391.55||00h 13m 14.15||+15d 11` 01.0||B2IV||Blue/White|
|Enif||Epsilon Pegasi||689.56||21h 44m 11.14||+09d 52` 30.0||K2Ibvar||Orange|
|Homam||Zeta Pegasi||204.36||22h 41m 27.67||+10d 49` 53.0||B8.5V||Blue/White|
|Matar||Eta Pegasi||214.30||22h 43m 00.13||+30d 13` 16.7||G2II-III..||Yellow|
|Biham||Theta Pegasi||92.29||22h 10m 11.82||+06d 11` 52.0||A2V||White|
|Iota Pegasi||Iota Pegasi||38.25||22h 07m 00.47||+25d 20` 42.2||F5V||Yellow/White|
|Jih||Kappa Pegasi||111.62||21h 44m 38.70||+25d 38` 42.0||F5IV||Yellow/White|
|Lambda Pegasi||Lambda Pegasi||365.24||22h 46m 31.84||+23d 33` 56.4||G8II-III||Yellow|
|Xi Pegasi||Xi Pegasi||53.16||22h 46m 41.44||+12d 10` 26.7||F7V||Yellow/White|
|Pi Pegasi||Pi Pegasi||263.03||22h 09m 59.25||+33d 10` 41.8||F5III||Yellow/White|
|21 Pegasi||629.66||22h 03m 19.02||+11d 23` 11.6||B9.5V||Blue/White|
|Is a Zodiac Sign||No|
|Area||1120.794 sq. deg.|
|Percentage of Night Sky||2.72%|
|Site Exoplanet Count||26|
|Meteor Shower Count||21|
|Nearest Star||EQ Pegasi|
|Nearest Star with Exoplanet(s)||Helvetios|
|Largest Star||S Pegasi|
|Dimmest Star||18 Pegasi|
|Furthest Star||HIP 108953|
|Bright Star Count||98|
|Hipparcos Star Count||2689|
|Main Star Count||13|
|Messier Deep Space Object Count||1|
|Bordering / Neighbouring / Surrounding Constellations||Lacerta|
*Note: The number of Non-Messier Deep Space Object Count relates to how many are covered on this site not how many there are.
|Messier 15 (NGC7078)||Globular Cluster||33000||+12:10||21h 30m 0|
|NGC 7331||Galaxy||45 Million Ly||+34 24 57.31||22 37 04m 102|
|NGC 7479||Spiral Galaxy||110 Million Ly||+12 19 22.36||23 04 56m 668|
|NGC 7742||Seyfret Galaxy||72.4 Million LY||+10d 46' 02||23h 44m 15m 7|
|Pegasus Dwarf Irregular Galaxy||Dwarf Irregular Galaxy||3m||14:44.35||23h 28m 36m 2|
|Pegasus Dwarf Spheroidal Galaxy||Dwarf Spheroidal Galaxy||2.7m||24:34.57||23h 51m 46m 3|
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