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Perseus Constellation

Perseus (Pronounciation:Per-see-us, Abbrev:Per, Latin:Persei) is a constellation, one of 88 constellations that the night sky is divided into. The sky is not divided up equally between the constellations. Perseus takes up 614.997 sq. degrees of the night sky which equates to 1.49% of the night sky. The constellation gets its name as it name means Perseus . 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.

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

The brightest star in Perseus is Algol. There are 3 Extrasolar Planets (Exoplanets) in this constellation that are detailed on this site. The current largest star so far identified in the constellation of Perseus is S Persei.

Perseus Star and Deep Space Object Count

The number of stars that have been catalogued as part of the Hipparcos Star Catalogue from Perseus is 1980. The number of stars that are of magnitude 6.0 or lower in the constellation is 99. The number of stars in the constellation that make up the outline is 11.

There are 2 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.

Stars of Interest

The nearest star to Earth is Iota Persei which is roughly about 34.38 Light Years from the Earth. The nearest star to the Earth with an exoplanet is HD 22781 which is about 106.9 Light Years. The furthest star that can be located in the constellation is HIP 20867 which is located about 326163 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 dimmest star that can be seen in Perseus with the naked eye is 7 Persei. The dim star has an apparent magnitude of 5.99. 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

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.

Legend of the Constellation

Perseus was the son of the God Zeus and Danae. Danae was the daughter of Acrisius whose jealously over his brothers Proetus infatuation with her caused him to lock her away. Acrisius believed the boy would be the death of him so he locked both her and the son in an ark and set them off down the river. When the ark came to a rest on Seriphos, kingdom of Polydectes, the mother and child was released by Dictys, a fisherman. The boy grew to be an athletic man known as Perseus. The King Polydectes fell in love with Danae but she refused his hand. The King told Perseus to bring him the head of a Gorgon thinking it would get rid of Perseus.

He was given winged sandals and a sickle in which to kill Medusa, the famous Gorgon by Hermes and Athena respectively. He searched for and found the Graeae, three witches who share a tooth and an eye. He got hold of those items and promised only to return them if he got what he wanted. He wanted to know how to find the Nymphs of the North. The witches obliged and he returned their items. When he found the Nymphs, he was given a cloak which would make him invisible. They also told him how to get to Medusa`s lair. He set off once more for the Lair. Using the cloak, he crept into the lair. Using only the reflection from the shield, he was able to use it to work out when Medusa was near enough to kill her by chopping off her head. Once that had been done, he put the head into a bag and left. On his return journey, he noticed a naked ( well, she would be naked wouldn`t she, think of the poor creature, he has no hands to get the wrapping off. ) woman tied to a rock. He swooped down and used the head of Medusa to turn Cetus to stone. After rescuing the maiden, he flies off and gains her hand in marriage. The story is immortalised in the film `Clash of the Titans` with a few differences...

Meteor Showers

There are 13 Meteor Showers that occur during the year within this constellation based on information gathered from Adam Mickiewicz University (Poland). The ones listed as the ones I've been able to find a date range for. For others if you have the time, you can visit the AMU site, obtains the SL value then use IMO tables to calculate the date. A lot of the Meteor Showers are weak and you need to do a lot of stargazing to spot them.

NameActivityPeak ActivityClosest Star
Daytime Zeta Perseids20 May- 5 Jul09-JunMenkib
PerseidsJuly 23-August 22Aug. 12/13Miram
September Epsilon Perseids5 Sep- 21 Sep09-Sep
September PerseidsSep 05 - Sep 17 Sep 09Epsilon Persei

Perseus Facts

Is a Zodiac Sign No
Largest StarS Persei
Brightest StarAlgol
Area614.997 sq. deg.
Percentage of Night Sky1.49%
Size Position24th
Hemisphere Northern
Site Exoplanet Count3
Meteor Shower Count13
Nearest StarIota Persei
Nearest Star with Exoplanet(s)HD 22781
Dimmest Star7 Persei
Furthest StarHIP 20867
Bright Star Count99
Hipparcos Star Count1980
Main Star Count11
Messier Deep Space Object Count2
*Non-Messier Deep Space Object Count1
Bordering / Neighbouring / Surrounding ConstellationsCassiopeia

*Note: The number of Non-Messier Deep Space Object Count relates to how many are covered on this site not how many there are.

Perseus Constellation Map

Perseus Constellation Star Map

The map was generated using Night Vision, an awesome free application by Brian Simpson.

List of Stars with Exoplanets in Perseus

StarDistance (Lt. Yrs.)Exoplanet CountDeclinationRight Ascension
HD 16760148.261+38d 37` 08.202h 42m 21.25
HD 22781106.901+31d 49` 35.503h 40m 49.50
HD 23596164.481+40d 31` 50.103h 48m 00.33

List of Named Stars in Perseus without Extrasolar Planets

As there's so many stars in the cosmos, not all the stars are listed here. The site has lots of stars not listed so if your star isn't listed and you know the Henry Draper or Hipparcos ID, type https://www.universeguide.com/star/ then followed by the HIPNNNNNN or HDNNNN where NNNNN is the number part of the name. The stars that I do list have either a traditional name, a bayer or other classification name.

StarDistance (Lt. Yrs.)DeclinationRight Ascension
1 Persei1294.30+55d 08` 50.701h 51m 59.31
10 Persei3397.53+56d 36` 35.402h 25m 16.03
11 Persei431.43+55d 06` 21.902h 43m 02.80
12 Persei78.90+40d 11` 39.802h 42m 14.93
14 Persei982.42+44d 17` 49.402h 44m 05.16
16 Persei120.76+38d 19` 08.102h 50m 34.91
17 Persei467.28+35d 03` 35.602h 51m 30.83
2 Persei482.49+50d 47` 34.301h 52m 09.35
20 Persei230.50+38d 20` 15.602h 53m 42.58
21 Persei319.77+31d 56` 03.502h 57m 17.28
24 Persei368.13+35d 10` 59.202h 59m 03.71
29 Persei637.04+50d 13` 20.003h 18m 37.72
3 Persei244.68+49d 12` 15.301h 58m 33.50
30 Persei731.31+44d 01` 30.303h 17m 47.33
31 Persei560.42+50d 05` 42.103h 19m 07.62
32 Persei150.58+43d 19` 46.703h 21m 26.61
34 Persei539.11+49d 30` 32.503h 29m 22.03
36 Persei118.48+46d 03` 25.403h 32m 26.30
4 Persei728.04+54d 29` 15.202h 02m 18.07
40 Persei1055.54+33d 57` 54.103h 42m 22.64
42 Persei268.45+33d 05` 29.003h 49m 32.70
43 Persei122.11+50d 41` 44.503h 56m 36.44
48 Persei476.85+47d 42` 45.304h 08m 39.67
49 Persei143.81+37d 43` 40.704h 08m 15.46
5 Persei5824.35+57d 38` 44.002h 11m 29.19
50 Persei68.48+38d 02` 24.804h 08m 36.49
52 Persei950.91+40d 29` 01.404h 14m 53.31
53 Persei507.25+46d 29` 56.304h 21m 33.15
54 Persei218.32+34d 34` 00.304h 20m 24.66
55 Persei448.03+34d 07` 51.004h 24m 29.14
56 Persei132.48+33d 57` 35.604h 24m 37.42
57 Persei193.00+43d 03` 50.004h 33m 24.90
58 Persei797.47+41d 15` 53.504h 36m 41.43
59 Persei241.25+43d 21` 55.004h 42m 54.30
6 Persei211.93+51d 03` 58.402h 13m 36.02
7 Persei819.51+57d 30` 58.802h 18m 04.60
8 Persei410.79+57d 53` 59.302h 17m 59.82
9 Persei3261.63+55d 50` 44.402h 22m 21.43
Algol89.93+40d 57` 20.303h 08m 10.13
Atik1120.84+32d 17` 17.803h 44m 19.13
Delta Persei516.08+47d 47` 15.603h 42m 55.48
Epsilon Persei638.28+40d 00` 37.003h 57m 51.22
Gamma Persei243.22+53d 30` 23.203h 04m 47.79
Gorgonea Tertia307.70+38d 50` 25.903h 05m 10.50
Iota Persei34.38+49d 36` 48.603h 09m 02.88
IW Persei182.83+39d 53` 58.503h 33m 35.02
KP Persei1208.01+44d 51` 20.803h 32m 38.98
Lambda Persei421.94+50d 21` 04.904h 06m 35.06
Menchib1244.90+35d 47` 27.703h 58m 57.90
Menkib751.53+31d 53` 01.203h 54m 07.92
Miram879.15+55d 53` 43.902h 50m 41.79
Mirfak506.46+49d 51` 40.503h 24m 19.35
Misam112.74+44d 51` 28.403h 09m 29.63
Mu Persei901.00+48d 24` 33.704h 14m 53.86
Nu Persei556.59+42d 34` 42.803h 45m 11.64
Omega Persei288.13+39d 36` 41.703h 11m 17.40
Phi Persei718.42+50d 41` 19.601h 43m 39.62
Pi Persei309.75+39d 39` 46.202h 58m 45.65
Psi Persei583.48+48d 11` 33.703h 36m 29.36
S Persei1964.84+58d 35` 11.502h 22m 51.71
Sigma Persei359.61+47d 59` 42.603h 30m 34.48
Tau Persei254.22+52d 45` 45.002h 54m 15.46
Theta Persei36.29+49d 13` 43.202h 44m 11.69
V376 Persei241.96+43d 57` 46.903h 49m 08.12
V396 Persei605.13+48d 01` 24.703h 32m 08.58
V440 Persei3048.26+55d 21` 53.502h 23m 51.75
V472 Persei3397.53+58d 25` 25.002h 08m 40.58
V480 Persei+57d 05` 03.602h 49m 30.74
V509 Persei348.84+47d 50` 54.603h 03m 56.75
V520 Persei+57d 08` 07.802h 19m 04.45
V521 Persei267.79+47d 18` 31.303h 07m 47.34
V545 Persei395.83+42d 08` 28.504h 18m 08.09
V572 Persei440.17+50d 57` 21.503h 15m 48.65
V573 Persei438.98+32d 11` 03.203h 16m 35.19
V575 Persei541.80+49d 12` 48.003h 23m 13.18
V576 Persei520.20+49d 07` 15.003h 25m 57.36
X Persei1393.86+31d 02` 45.103h 55m 23.08

Objects of Interest (Galaxies, Nebulas, Supernovas, etc) in Perseus

NameTypeDistanceDeclinationRight Ascension
California NebulaEmission Nebula36:25:1804h 03h 18
M34 Open ClusterOpen Cluster1.5+42:4702h 42m 0
The Little Dumbell, Cork or ButterflyPlanetary Nebula2.5+51:3401h 42m 4

Perseus Constellation's Star Breakdown

Type Breakdown

AWhite 7,500 - 10,000k598
FYellow-White 6,000 - 7,500k354
KLight Orange Star 3,700 - 5,200k353
BBlue-White 10,500 - 30,000k311
GYellow 5,200 - 6,000k209
MRed Dwarf Star <3,700k50
OBlue Star >33,000k10

Size Breakdown

VMain Sequence199
IIINormal Giant97
IbLess Luminous Supergiant20
IaLuminous Supergiant16
IIBright Giant15
IabIntermediate Luminous Supergiant13
WWolf-Rayet Star2

Breakdown of Carbon Stars by Type

CC-Type Carbon Star2
RR-Type Carbon Star2
NN-Type Carbon Star2

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