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Pegasus, The Winged Horse Constellation Facts and Mythology

Pegasus Constellation Star Map

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 14 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. For a list of named stars, that is stars that don't start HD or HIP, please visit Pegasus Star List Page.

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.

Pegasus 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 108953, Furthest Star

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.

Markab, Brightest Star in Pegasus

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.

18 Pegasi, Dimmest Visible Star

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 / Helvetios

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 Mythology

According to the films, Clash of the Titans (1981), Pegasus was the mythical winged horse that was tamed by Perseus whilst on a mission to save Andromeda from the sea whale Cetus.

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.

Meteor Showers Radiating from Pegasus

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.

NameActivityPeak ActivityClosest Star
PegasidsJuly 7-13July 9thMarkab

Pegasus Facts

Is a Zodiac Sign No
Largest StarS Pegasi
Brightest StarMarkab
Area1120.794 sq. deg.
Percentage of Night Sky2.72%
Size Position7th
Hemisphere Northern
Site Exoplanet Count26
Meteor Shower Count21
Nearest StarEQ Pegasi
Nearest Star with Exoplanet(s)Helvetios
Brightest StarMarkab
Dimmest Star18 Pegasi
Furthest StarHIP 108953
Bright Star Count98
Hipparcos Star Count2689
Main Star Count14
Messier Deep Space Object Count1
*Non-Messier Deep Space Object Count2
Bordering / Neighbouring / Surrounding ConstellationsLacerta

*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 Pegasus

NameTypeDistanceDeclinationRight Ascension
Messier 15 (NGC7078)Globular Cluster33000+12:1021h 30m 0
NGC 7742Seyfret Galaxy72.4 Million LY+10d 46' 0223h 44m 15m 7
Pegasus Dwarf Irregular GalaxyDwarf Irregular Galaxy3m14:44.3523h 28m 36m 2
Pegasus Dwarf Spheroidal GalaxyDwarf Spheroidal Galaxy2.7m24:34.5723h 51m 46m 3

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