Pyxis (Pronounciation:Picks-is, Abbrev:Pyx, Latin:Pyxidis) is a constellation, one of 88 constellations that the night sky is divided into. The sky is not divided up equally between the constellations. Pyxis takes up 220.833 sq. degrees of the night sky which equates to 0.54% of the night sky. Pyxis is the 65th largest in terms of size in the night sky.
The constellation name means The Compass . 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 629 stars. There are 18 stars that can be seen with the naked eye in the constellation on a very clear night sky.
Pyxis is not a member of the Zodiac group of twelve constellations that appear when the Sun sets. Pyxis 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 207.35 light years and the furthest main star is a distance of 879.15 light years. The average distance to the main stars is 500.84 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 HD 72673 which is roughly about 39.82 Light Years from the Earth. The nearest star to the Earth with an exoplanet is HD 73256 which is about 123.17 Light Years.
The furthest star that is located in the constellation is HIP 43041 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 Pyxis is Alpha Pyxidis and is located about 12.10 light years from the Sun. The star has a apparent magnitude of 3.68 but an absolute magnitude of -3.47 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 Pyxis with the naked eye is HD 73072. The dim star has an apparent magnitude of 5.95. 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.
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.
|Is a Zodiac Sign||No|
|Brightest Star||Alpha Pyxidis|
|Area||220.833 sq. deg.|
|Percentage of Night Sky||0.54%|
|Site Exoplanet Count||4|
|Meteor Shower Count||5|
|Nearest Star||HD 72673|
|Nearest Star with Exoplanet(s)||HD 73256|
|Brightest Star||Alpha Pyxidis|
|Dimmest Star||HD 73072|
|Furthest Star||HIP 43041|
|Bright Star Count||18|
|Hipparcos Star Count||629|
|Main Star Count||3|
|Messier Deep Space Object Count||0|
|Bordering / Neighbouring / Surrounding Constellations||Hydra|
*Note: The number of Non-Messier Deep Space Object Count relates to how many are covered on this site not how many there are.
|NGC 2613||Emission Line Galaxy||-22 58 25.21||08 33 22m 841|
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