Universe Guide

Pictor, The Easle Constellation

Pictor Constellation Star Map

Pictor (Pronounciation:Pick-tore, Abbrev:Pic, Latin:Pictoris) is a constellation, one of 88 constellations that the night sky is divided into. The sky is not divided up equally between the constellations. Pictor takes up 246.739 sq. degrees of the night sky which equates to 0.6% of the night sky. Pictor is the 59th largest in terms of size in the night sky.

The constellation name means The Easle . It was not one of the original constellations that had been devised by Ptolemy, instead it was created by Abbé Nicolas Louis de Lacaille years later.

There are 3 stars that make up the main constellation. The hipparcos satellite scanned and detailed 746 stars. There are 23 stars that can be seen with the naked eye in the constellation on a very clear night sky.

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

There are 12 Extrasolar Planets (Exoplanets) in this constellation that are detailed on this site. There is a dedicated page for exoplanets in Pictor.

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 Pictor

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 63.41 light years and the furthest main star is a distance of 176.78 light years. The average distance to the main stars is 112.25 light years.

Pictor 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.

Kapteyn's Star, Pictor's Nearest Star

The nearest star to Earth is Kapteyn's Star which is roughly about 12.76 Light Years from the Earth. The nearest star to the Earth with an exoplanet is HD 40307 which is about 42.39 Light Years.

HIP 24439, Pictor's Furthest Star

The furthest star that is located in the constellation is HIP 24439 and it is 7955.2 light years away from the Sun.

Alpha Pictoris, Brightest Star in Pictor

The brightest star in Pictor is Alpha Pictoris and is located about 110.18 light years from the Sun. The star has a apparent magnitude of 3.24 but an absolute magnitude of 0.88 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 39937, Pictor's Dimmest Visible Star

The dimmest star that can be seen in Pictor with the naked eye is HD 39937. The dim star has an apparent magnitude of 5.93. 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.

Beta Pictoris

In 1983, Beta Pictoris was discovered to have the key materials for a planet to be in orbit round it. It would not be until later that the first actual exoplanet round Lich to actually be confirmed. Beta Pictoris would later be declared as having an exoplanet in orbit. N.A.S.A.

EBLM J0555-57Ab, Smallest Known Star in the Universe

The catchily named EBLM J0555-57Ab is the small known star in the galaxy. If it was placed next to Jupiter, the largest planet in the Solar System, it would be smaller. EBLM has more mass that Jupiter and is therefore able to start nuclear fusion and become a star. Jupiter is known as a failed star because it big enough to be a star but not massive enough to be one.

Pictor Mythology

There is no Greek Legend behind this constellation. It was created by Abbé Nicolas Louis de Lacaille to fill in the voids in the astronomical charts. The easle was chosen to be represented in the skies.

Pictor Facts

Is a Zodiac Sign No
Brightest StarAlpha Pictoris
Area246.739 sq. deg.
Percentage of Night Sky0.6%
Size Position59th
Hemisphere Southern
Site Exoplanet Count12
Meteor Shower Count1
Nearest StarKapteyn's Star
Nearest Star with Exoplanet(s)HD 40307
Brightest StarAlpha Pictoris
Dimmest StarHD 39937
Furthest StarHIP 24439
Bright Star Count23
Hipparcos Star Count746
Main Star Count3
Messier Deep Space Object Count0
Bordering / Neighbouring / Surrounding ConstellationsColumba

*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 Pictor

NameTypeDistanceDeclinationRight Ascension
ESO 121-6Spiral Galaxy65,000,000-61:48:8.9706h 07h 31m 20
NGC 1998Lenticular Galaxy-48 41 44.36730155005 33 15m 7535808036

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