Universe Guide

Scutum, The Shield Constellation

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 4 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.

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.

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.

Distance to Scutum

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 199.12 light years and the furthest main star is a distance of 1,399.84 light years. The average distance to the main stars is 708.65 light years.

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, Scutum's 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, Scutum's 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, most people would not 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
ScutidsJune 26th  
June Scutids (Eta Serpentids)2 Jun- 29 Jul27-Jun  

List of Main Stars in Scutum

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 Scutum Star List page.

NameBayerDistance (Lt.Yr.)Right AscensionDeclinationSpectral TypeColour
Alpha ScutiAlpha Scuti199.1218h 35m 12.44-08d 14` 35.9K2IIIOrange
Beta ScutiBeta Scuti916.1918h 47m 10.48-04d 44` 52.2G5II...Yellow
Gamma ScutiGamma Scuti319.4518h 29m 11.85-14d 33` 56.9A1IV/VWhite
HD 1751561399.8418h 54m 43.12-15d 36` 10.9B3IIBlue/White

Scutum Facts

Is a Zodiac Sign No
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
Largest StarUY Scuti
Brightest StarAlpha Scuti
Dimmest StarHD 174208
Furthest StarHIP 90204
Bright Star Count18
Hipparcos Star Count270
Main Star Count4
Messier Deep Space Object Count2
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.

List of Deep Space Objects (Galaxies, Nebulas, Supernovas, etc) in Scutum

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

Comments and Questions

There's no register feature and no need to give an email address if you don't need to. All messages will be reviewed before being displayed. Comments may be merged or altered slightly such as if an email address is given in the main body of the comment.

You can decline to give a name which if that is the case, the comment will be attributed to a random star. A name is preferred even if its a random made up one by yourself.

This website is using cookies. More info. That's Fine