Pisces (Pronounciation:Pye-seas, Abbrev:Psc, Latin:Piscium) is a constellation, one of 88 constellations that the night sky is divided into. The sky is not divided up equally between the constellations. Pisces takes up 889.417 sq. degrees of the night sky which equates to 2.16% of the night sky. Pisces is the 14th largest in terms of size in the night sky.
The constellation name means The Fishes . 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 21 stars that make up the main constellation. The hipparcos satellite scanned and detailed 1953 stars. There are 79 stars that can be seen with the naked eye in the constellation on a very clear night sky.
Pisces is a member constellation of the Zodiac grouping, a group of 12 star signs that astrologers use to predict someones future based on their date of birth and which constellation appeared when the Sun set. The Zodiac year may be divided up equally between the twelve signs but when they appear in the night sky no longer conforms to the Zodiac calendar. Pisces is an equatorial constellation that can be seen by countries nearest the Equator.
There are 1 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 44.73 light years and the furthest main star is a distance of 598.46 light years. The average distance to the main stars is 245.46 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 furthest star that is located in the constellation is HIP 5218 and it is 81540.84 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 brightest star in Pisces is Kullat Nunu and is located about 30.43 light years from the Sun. The star has a apparent magnitude of 3.62 but an absolute magnitude of -1.53 when the star is viewed from a distance of 10 Parsecs or 32.6 Light Years. The star is only recognised as being Eta Piscium rather than having Alpha status.
The dimmest star that can be seen in Pisces with the naked eye is 60 Piscium. The dim star has an apparent magnitude of 5.98. 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 star has been observed as being a cannibal star, a star that has consumed another star. BP Piscium has burped so to speak and created an accretion disk round itself and streams at the poles. Most vampire stars usually consume their victims over time but this would seem to have gobbled it up.
Van Maanen's star is a small white dwarf and is the third closest dwarf star after Sirius B and Procyon B white dwarves. It is on its own compared to the other two that are closer. It is named after Adriaan van Maanen, a Dutch-American astronomer who discovered it whilst researching a Lalande 1299. It is also the nearest star of any type in the constellation to us.
For Northern Hemisphere, I am assuming you are viewing from London, Great Britain and for the southern hemisphere, I am assuming you are in Sydney, Australia. If you are in a different location to either of these, you will need to adjust accordingly.
Pisces is a Zodiac sign for mainly March but it is not the best time of the year to see it. Since the time of when the Zodiac was drawn up, the constellations have moved out of position.
The best time to view the constellation would be any time in October/November when it will be dark early and you will be able to see it about 9pm in the evening when it is dark. Pisces will be visible as early as July but the problem is that it will only be visible in the morning when the Sun is out. It can also be viewed in August but the problem with that is you would need to be up at about 1 o'clock in the morning to be able to see it. The constellation will be on the horizon in the east. If you can wait another month, the constellation will be higher in the sky later in the month and into November. On the 1st of November, the constellation will be in a more south-easterly direction. The constellation will not be getting any higher and instead start to make its move downwards out of view.
Pisces can be seen from 9pm in October, the same time as in the Northern Hemisphere. It can be seen earlier but you'd have to stay up longer and into the early morning to see it. You will be able to fully view the constellation from about North-East to East direction just above the horizon. If you can wait until December, it will be higher in the sky at around 9pm. It will also be viewing in January the following year. Those closer to the equator such as Darwin will be able to see the constellation higher in the sky.
Aphrodite and her son Eros were transformed into fish to escape the monster Typhon by river nymphs. To show a sign of her gratitude, fishes were transposed into the sky. The fishes are shown tied together to indicate that they don't lose one another.
There are 20 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.
|Name||Activity||Peak Activity||Closest Star|
|Daytime April Piscids||16th April|
|April Piscids||April 8-29||Apr. 20/21|
|Delta Piscids||Jun 20-26||Jun 23||Linteum|
|omega Piscids||17th September|
|Southern delta Piscids||19th September|
|gamma Piscids||13th October|
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 Pisces Star List page.
|Name||Bayer||Distance (Lt.Yr.)||Right Ascension||Declination||Spectral Type||Colour|
|Alrescha||Alpha Piscium||150.58||02h 02m 02.80||+02d 45` 49.5||A2||White|
|Fum al Samakah||Beta Piscium||408.21||23h 03m 52.61||+03d 49` 12.3||B6Ve||Blue/White|
|Gamma Piscium||Gamma Piscium||137.97||23h 17m 09.49||+03d 16` 56.1||G7III||Yellow|
|Linteum||Delta Piscium||311.22||00h 48m 40.90||+07d 35` 06.7||K5III||Orange|
|Kaht||Epsilon Piscium||181.81||01h 02m 56.66||+07d 53` 24.3||K0III||Orange|
|Revati||Zeta Piscium||173.86||01h 13m 43.80||+07d 34` 31.8||A7IV||White|
|Zeta Piscium B||Zeta Piscium B||306.54||01h 13m 45.17||+07d 34` 42.2||F7V||Yellow/White|
|Kullat Nunu||Eta Piscium||349.59||01h 31m 28.99||+15d 20` 45.0||G8III||Yellow|
|Theta Piscium||Theta Piscium||148.53||23h 27m 58.17||+06d 22` 44.8||K1III||Orange|
|Iota Piscium||Iota Piscium||44.73||23h 39m 56.82||+05d 37` 38.5||F7V||Yellow/White|
|Kappa Piscium||Kappa Piscium||153.49||23h 26m 55.91||+01d 15` 21.0||A0p||White|
|Lambda Piscium||Lambda Piscium||106.62||23h 42m 02.88||+01d 46` 49.5||A7V||White|
|Mu Piscium||Mu Piscium||303.97||01h 30m 10.94||+06d 08` 38.2||K4III||Orange|
|Nu Piscium||Nu Piscium||363.21||01h 41m 25.91||+05d 29` 15.4||K3III||Orange|
|Torcular||Omicron Piscium||279.49||01h 45m 23.59||+09d 09` 27.5||K0III||Orange|
|Tau Piscium||Tau Piscium||168.82||01h 11m 39.59||+30d 05` 23.0||K0III-IV...||Orange|
|Upsilon Piscium||Upsilon Piscium||307.99||01h 19m 27.98||+27d 15` 50.7||A3V||White|
|Psi1 Piscium||Psi1 Piscium||275.01||01h 05m 40.93||+21d 28` 23.6||A1Vn||White|
|Psi1 Piscium B||Psi1 Piscium B||280.21||01h 05m 41.68||+21d 27` 55.7||A0Vn||White|
|Omega Piscium||Omega Piscium||104.34||23h 59m 18.60||+06d 51` 48.9||F4IV||Yellow/White|
|4 Ceti||598.46||00h 07m 44.10||-02d 32` 55.3||B8IIIsp...||Blue/White|
|Is a Zodiac Sign||Yes|
|Brightest Star||Kullat Nunu|
|Area||889.417 sq. deg.|
|Percentage of Night Sky||2.16%|
|Site Exoplanet Count||33|
|Meteor Shower Count||20|
|Nearest Star||Van Maanen's Star|
|Nearest Star with Exoplanet(s)||HD 217107|
|Brightest Star||Kullat Nunu|
|Dimmest Star||60 Piscium|
|Furthest Star||HIP 5218|
|Bright Star Count||79|
|Hipparcos Star Count||1953|
|Main Star Count||21|
|Messier Deep Space Object Count||1|
|Bordering / Neighbouring / Surrounding Constellations||Andromeda|
*Note: The number of Non-Messier Deep Space Object Count relates to how many are covered on this site not how many there are.
|3C 9||Quasar||+15 40 54.766010557||00 20 25m 2227767358|
|Messier 74 (NGC628)||Spiral Galaxy||24,000-36,000 kly||+15:47||01h 36m 7|
|NGC 199||Lenticular Galaxy||+03 08 18.841610253||00 39 33m 1575868375|
|NGC 498||Lenticular Galaxy||+33 29 21.29||01 23 11m 298|
|NGC 500||Lenticular Galaxy||+05 23 13.960190267||01 22 39m 3645008508|
|NGC 509||Lenticular Galaxy||+09 26 01.085839868||01 23 24m 1141524258|
|NGC 517||Lenticular Galaxy||+33 25 46.54||01 24 43m 806|
|NGC 520||Anniversary Galaxy||100 Million Ly||03:47:45.60||01h 24h 35m 19|
|NGC 524||Lenticular Galaxy||90 Million Ly||09:32:23.33||01h 24h 47m 56|
|NGC 60||LINER-type Active Galaxy Nucleus||-00 18 12.691080704||00 15 58m 2449783101|
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