Sextans (Pronounciation:Sex-tans, Abbrev:Sex, Latin:Sextantis) is a constellation, one of 88 constellations that the night sky is divided into. The sky is not divided up equally between the constellations. Sextans takes up 313.515 sq. degrees of the night sky which equates to 0.76% of the night sky. Sextans is the 47th largest in terms of size in the night sky.
The constellation name means The Sextants . 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 3 stars that make up the main constellation. The hipparcos satellite scanned and detailed 638 stars. There are 17 stars that can be seen with the naked eye in the constellation on a very clear night sky.
Sextans is not a member of the Zodiac group of twelve constellations that appear when the Sun sets. Sextans 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 277.59 light years and the furthest main star is a distance of 404.67 light years. The average distance to the main stars is 321.88 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 HIP 51317 which is roughly about 23.05 Light Years from the Earth. The nearest star to the Earth with an exoplanet is HD 92788 which is about 115.66 Light Years.
The furthest star that is located in the constellation is HIP 48167 and it is 36240.37 light years away from the Sun.
The brightest star in Sextans is Alpha Sextantis and is located about 37.54 light years from the Sun. The star has a apparent magnitude of 4.48 but an absolute magnitude of -0.21 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 Sextans with the naked eye is HD 94014. 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.
Created by Johannes Hevelius in around 1687 and recognised by the International Astronomical Union. It was created to fill a void in the maps.
There are 9 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.
|Name||Activity||Peak Activity||Closest Star|
|Daytime Sextantids||9 Sep- 9 Oct||27-Sep|
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 Sextans Star List page.
|Name||Bayer||Distance (Lt.Yr.)||Right Ascension||Declination||Spectral Type||Colour|
|Alpha Sextantis||Alpha Sextantis||283.37||10h 07m 56.30||-00d 22` 17.9||A0III||White|
|Beta Sextantis||Beta Sextantis||404.67||10h 30m 17.50||-00d 38` 13.1||B6V||Blue/White|
|Gamma Sextantis||Gamma Sextantis||277.59||09h 52m 30.47||-08d 06` 17.7||A2V||White|
|Is a Zodiac Sign||No|
|Brightest Star||Alpha Sextantis|
|Area||313.515 sq. deg.|
|Percentage of Night Sky||0.76%|
|Site Exoplanet Count||7|
|Meteor Shower Count||9|
|Nearest Star||HIP 51317|
|Nearest Star with Exoplanet(s)||HD 92788|
|Brightest Star||Alpha Sextantis|
|Dimmest Star||HD 94014|
|Furthest Star||HIP 48167|
|Bright Star Count||17|
|Hipparcos Star Count||638|
|Main Star Count||3|
|Messier Deep Space Object Count||0|
|Bordering / Neighbouring / Surrounding Constellations||Leo|
*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 3044||Barred Spiral Galaxy||+01 34 46.74||09 53 40m 884|
|NGC 3115||Lenticular Galaxy||-07 43 06.89||10 05 13m 978|
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