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Phoenix, The Pheonix Constellation

Phoenix Constellation Star Map

Phoenix (Pronounciation:Fee-nicks, Abbrev:Phe, Latin:Phoenicis) is a constellation, one of 88 constellations that the night sky is divided into. The sky is not divided up equally between the constellations. Phoenix takes up 469.319 sq. degrees of the night sky which equates to 1.14% of the night sky. Phoenix is the 37th largest in terms of size in the night sky.

The constellation name means The Pheonix . 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 8 stars that make up the main constellation. The hipparcos satellite scanned and detailed 1401 stars. There are 39 stars that can be seen with the naked eye in the constellation on a very clear night sky.

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

There are 15 Extrasolar Planets (Exoplanets) in this constellation that are detailed on this site. There is a dedicated page for exoplanets in Phoenix.

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 Phoenix

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 77.66 light years and the furthest main star is a distance of 27,180.28 light years. The average distance to the main stars is 3,562.90 light years.

Phoenix 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.

Nu Phoenicis, Phoenix's Nearest Star

The nearest star to Earth is Nu Phoenicis which is roughly about 49.3 Light Years from the Earth. The nearest star to the Earth with an exoplanet is HD 142 which is about 83.87 Light Years.

HIP 10676, Phoenix's Furthest Star

The furthest star that is located in the constellation is HIP 10676 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.

HD 3750, Phoenix's Dimmest Visible Star

The dimmest star that can be seen in Phoenix with the naked eye is HD 3750. 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.

Ankaa

In addition to being the brightest star in the constellation, Ankaa is a multiple star system notable for the fact that its companion star orbits at a very slow speed, 10.5 years. It is one of the very few stars in the southern hemisphere to have a proper name and not just a designation. It has already depleted its hydrogen energy and is now working through its helium stock.

How to Find and View Phoenix in the Night Sky

Northern Hemisphere

Phoenix is a Southern Hemispheric constellation and is not possible to see in the north area of the hemisphere, e.g. London. Phoenix is just visible in December and January on the horizon in Washington D.C. so anywhere south of that location should see it. Miami wil be able to see the Phoenix just about the horizon at about 9pm but it won't appear for long.

Southern Hemisphere

Phoenix can be seen on the horizon about 11pm in July but if you can wait for another month, it can be seen about 9pm in a south easterly direction. In the ensuing months, it will rise higher in the sky. In December, there are the Phoenicids meteor shower and at that point, the constellation will then start to come back down and be lower on the horizon at 9pm. It will start to disappear at 9pm about the 1st April. An hour later, it will have dived behind below the horizon.

Phoenix Mythology

The Phoenix was an Egyptian Legend rather than a Greek on which most other constellations are based on. The constellation was created by Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser and Frederick de Houtman to fill in the voids in the astronomical charts. The short mythological story is that it was a bird that rose from the ashes. There is no specific story regarding the Phoenix, it was said to be a bird that would be consumed in flames and renew itself. Britannica

The Phoenix has inspired many stories over the years and has been nodded to in Harry Potter and Warcraft to name just two. In Warcraft, the Phoenix appears in a number of dungeons and raids.

Other Meteor Showers

There are 7 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
July PhoenicidsJuly 9-17Jul. 14/15  


List of Main Stars in Phoenix

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 Phoenix Star List page.

NameBayerDistance (Lt.Yr.)Right AscensionDeclinationSpectral TypeColour
AnkaaAlpha Phoenicis84.7200h 26m 16.87-42d 18` 18.4K0III...Orange
Beta PhoenicisBeta Phoenicis27180.2801h 06m 05.11-46d 43` 06.6G8IIIvarYellow
Gamma PhoenicisGamma Phoenicis233.6401h 28m 21.94-43d 19` 03.8K5II-IIIOrange
Delta PhoenicisDelta Phoenicis142.1201h 31m 14.98-49d 04` 23.1K0III-IVOrange
Epsilon PhoenicisEpsilon Phoenicis144.1900h 09m 24.54-45d 44` 49.2K0IIIOrange
WurrenZeta Phoenicis298.6801h 08m 23.06-55d 14` 45.0B6V + B0VBlue/White
Kappa PhoenicisKappa Phoenicis77.6600h 26m 12.12-43d 40` 47.7A7VWhite
Psi PhoenicisPsi Phoenicis341.8901h 53m 38.82-46d 18` 08.8M4III SBRed

Phoenix Facts


NamePhoenix
AbbreviationPhe
Is a Zodiac Sign No
Brightest StarAnkaa
Area469.319 sq. deg.
Percentage of Night Sky1.14%
Size Position37th
Hemisphere Southern
Site Exoplanet Count15
Meteor Shower Count7
Nearest StarNu Phoenicis
Nearest Star with Exoplanet(s)HD 142
Brightest StarAnkaa
Dimmest StarHD 3750
Furthest StarHIP 10676
Bright Star Count39
Hipparcos Star Count1401
Main Star Count8
Messier Deep Space Object Count0
Bordering / Neighbouring / Surrounding ConstellationsSculptor
Grus
Tucana
Hydrus
Eridanus
Fornax

*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 Phoenix


NameTypeDistanceDeclinationRight Ascension
NGC 25Lenticular Galaxy-57 01 14.9000 09 59m 290
NGC 28Elliptical Galaxy-56 59 20.9300 10 25m 245
NGC 31Spiral Galaxy-56 59 11.4100 10 38m 384
NGC 37Lenticular Galaxy-56 57 26.32928386400 11 22m 9433440354
NGC 625Active Galaxy Nucleus-41 26 10.3201 35 04m 632
NGC 7689Spiral Galaxy-54 05 39.84232731623 33 16m 7750416898
NGC 7690Spiral Galaxy-51 41 54.00766272823 33 02m 5948392010
NGC 87Diffuse, highly disorganized barred irregular galaxy-48 37 48.2800 21 14m 062
NGC 88Barred Spiral Galaxy-48 38 24.2800 21 22m 132
NGC 89Barred Spiral or Lenticular Galaxy-48 39 55.2800 21 24m 355
NGC 92Interacting Barred Spiral-48 37 29.2300 21 31m 713
NGC 98Barred Spiral Galaxy-45 16 08.60061924600 22 49m 5591528551


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