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Pyxis, The Compass Constellation

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. The constellation gets its name as it 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.

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.

The brightest star in Pyxis is Alpha Pyxidis. There are 4 Extrasolar Planets (Exoplanets) in this constellation that are detailed on this site. There is a dedicated page for exoplanets in Pyxis. For a list of named stars, that is stars that don't start HD or HIP, please visit Pyxis Star List Page.

Pyxis Star and Deep Space Object Count

The number of stars that have been catalogued as part of the Hipparcos Star Catalogue from Pyxis is 629. The number of stars that are of magnitude 6.0 or lower in the constellation is 18. The number of stars in the constellation that make up the outline is 3.

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.

Stars of Interest

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 can be located in the constellation is HIP 43041 which is located about 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 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

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.

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.

There are no major meteor showers that radiate from within this constellation.

Pyxis Facts

Is a Zodiac Sign No
Brightest StarAlpha Pyxidis
Area220.833 sq. deg.
Percentage of Night Sky0.54%
Size Position65th
Hemisphere Southern
Site Exoplanet Count4
Meteor Shower Count5
Nearest StarHD 72673
Nearest Star with Exoplanet(s)HD 73256
Dimmest StarHD 73072
Furthest StarHIP 43041
Bright Star Count18
Hipparcos Star Count629
Main Star Count3
Messier Deep Space Object Count0
*Non-Messier Deep Space Object Count0
Bordering / Neighbouring / Surrounding ConstellationsHydra

*Note: The number of Non-Messier Deep Space Object Count relates to how many are covered on this site not how many there are.

Pyxis Constellation Map

Pyxis Constellation Star Map

The map was generated using Night Vision, an awesome free application by Brian Simpson.

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