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Scutum, The Shield Constellation

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. The constellation gets its name as it 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.

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 brightest star in Scutum is Alpha Scuti. 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.

Scutum Star and Deep Space Object Count

The number of stars that have been catalogued as part of the Hipparcos Star Catalogue from Scutum is 270. 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 5.

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.

Stars of Interest

The nearest star to Earth is HIP 91430 which is roughly about 42.03 Light Years from the Earth. The nearest star to the Earth with an exoplanet is which is about 840 Light Years. The furthest star that can be located in the constellation is HIP 90204 which is located about 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.

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

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.

Created by Johannes Hevelius in around 1687 and recognised by the International Astronomical Union.

Stars of Interst

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. 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.

Eta Serpentids Meteor Showers

The sole meteor shower of importance for this constellation is the June Scutids (Eta Serpentids) whose radiant point is by Eta Serpentis which is another constellation. The meteor shower is a low meteor shower meaning you won't see many meteors.

Deep Space Objects

There are two star clusters and while there are galaxies within the confines of the constellation, none are detailed on this site currently.

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

Scutum Facts

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
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

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

Scutum Constellation Map

Scutum Constellation Star Map

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

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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