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Scutum, The Shield Constellation Facts and Mythology

Scutum Constellation Star Map

Scutum (Pronounciation:Skew-tum, Abbrev:Sct, Latin:Scuti) is a constellation, one of 88 constellations that the night sky is divided into. The sky is not divided up equally between the constellations. Scutum takes up 109.114 sq. degrees of the night sky which equates to 0.26% of the night sky. Scutum is the 84th largest in terms of size in the night sky.

The constellation name means The Shield . It was not one of the original constellations that had been devised by Ptolemy, instead it was created by Johannes Hevelius years later.

There are 5 stars that make up the main constellation. The hipparcos satellite scanned and detailed 270 stars. There are 18 stars that can be seen with the naked eye in the constellation on a very clear night sky.

Scutum is not a member of the Zodiac group of twelve constellations that appear when the Sun sets. Scutum is an equatorial constellation that can be seen by countries nearest the Equator.

The distance to Scutum is not calculable because all the stars that make up the constellation are at various distances. The best answer for distance to Scutum is to calculate the average distance of the stars.

There are 2 Extrasolar Planets (Exoplanets) in this constellation that are detailed on this site. There is a dedicated page for exoplanets in Scutum. The current largest star so far identified in the constellation of Scutum is UY Scuti. For a list of named stars, that is stars that don't start HD or HIP, please visit Scutum Star List Page.

There are 2 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.

Scutum 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.

HIP 90204, Furthest Star

The furthest star that is located in the constellation is HIP 90204 and it is 326163.3 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.

Alpha Scuti, Brightest Star in Scutum

The brightest star in Scutum is Alpha Scuti and is located about 53.43 light years from the Sun. The star has a apparent magnitude of 3.85 but an absolute magnitude of -0.08 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 174208, Dimmest Visible Star

The dimmest star that can be seen in Scutum with the naked eye is HD 174208. The dim star has an apparent magnitude of 5.99. 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.

UY Scuti

If it wasn't for the fact that the constellation currently has the largest known star in the cosmos within its borders, not people would be interested in the constellation. It might be one of the smallest constellations but it contains the largest star. Bordering Sagittarius, the constellation is towards the centre of our Milky Way. The name of the largest star is UY Scuti and its humongous. If the star was at the centre of Solar System, it would engulf our planet. Our Sun is not tiny but UY Scuti makes it look tidy. Although it is massive, it is not visible from Earth because of the distance from it we are.

Delta Scuti

The constellation boasts Delta Scuti which is a giant pulsating variable star. It was the first of its type therefore the variable star type is named after it, Delta Scuti. Delta Scutis are the second most common variable star in the cosmos.

Scutum Mythology

Created by Johannes Hevelius in around 1687 and recognised by the International Astronomical Union. The Scutum is designed to represent a shield.

Meteor Showers Radiating from Scutum

There are 3 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.

NameActivityPeak ActivityClosest Star
June Scutids (Eta Serpentids)2 Jun- 29 Jul27-Jun  

Scutum Facts


NameScutum
AbbreviationSct
Is a Zodiac Sign No
Largest StarUY Scuti
Brightest StarAlpha Scuti
Area109.114 sq. deg.
Percentage of Night Sky0.26%
Size Position84th
Hemisphere Equatorial
Site Exoplanet Count2
Meteor Shower Count3
Nearest StarHIP 91430
Brightest StarAlpha Scuti
Dimmest StarHD 174208
Furthest StarHIP 90204
Bright Star Count18
Hipparcos Star Count270
Main Star Count5
Messier Deep Space Object Count2
*Non-Messier Deep Space Object Count0
Bordering / Neighbouring / Surrounding ConstellationsSerpens
Sagittarius
Aquila

*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 Scutum


NameTypeDistanceDeclinationRight Ascension
Messier 26 (NGC6694)Open Cluster5000-09.2418h 45m 2
Wild Duck Cluster (M11, NGC6705)Open Cluster6200-06.1618h 51m 1


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