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 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.
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.
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 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.
The furthest star that is located in the constellation is HIP 24439 and it is 7955.2 light years away from the Sun.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
|Is a Zodiac Sign||No|
|Brightest Star||Alpha Pictoris|
|Area||246.739 sq. deg.|
|Percentage of Night Sky||0.6%|
|Site Exoplanet Count||12|
|Meteor Shower Count||1|
|Nearest Star||Kapteyn's Star|
|Nearest Star with Exoplanet(s)||HD 40307|
|Brightest Star||Alpha Pictoris|
|Dimmest Star||HD 39937|
|Furthest Star||HIP 24439|
|Bright Star Count||23|
|Hipparcos Star Count||746|
|Main Star Count||3|
|Messier Deep Space Object Count||0|
|Bordering / Neighbouring / Surrounding Constellations||Columba|
*Note: The number of Non-Messier Deep Space Object Count relates to how many are covered on this site not how many there are.
|ESO 121-6||Spiral Galaxy||65 Million Ly||-61:48:8.97||06h 07h 31m 20|
|NGC 1998||Lenticular Galaxy||-48 41 44.367301550||05 33 15m 7535808036|
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