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Sextans, The Sextants Constellation Facts and Mythology

Sextans Constellation Star Map

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.

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

There are 7 Extrasolar Planets (Exoplanets) in this constellation that are detailed on this site. There is a dedicated page for exoplanets in Sextans.

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.

Sextans 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 51317, Nearest Star

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.

HIP 48167, Furthest Star

The furthest star that is located in the constellation is HIP 48167 and it is 36240.37 light years away from the Sun.

Alpha Sextantis, Brightest Star in Sextans

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.

HD 94014, Dimmest Visible Star

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.

Sextans Mythology

Created by Johannes Hevelius in around 1687 and recognised by the International Astronomical Union. It was created to fill a void in the maps.

Meteor Showers Radiating from Sextans

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.

NameActivityPeak ActivityClosest Star
Daytime Sextantids9 Sep- 9 Oct27-Sep  

List of Main Stars in Sextans

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.

NameBayerDistance (Lt.Yr.)Right AscensionDeclinationSpectral TypeColour
Alpha SextantisAlpha Sextantis283.3710h 07m 56.30-00d 22` 17.9A0IIIWhite
Beta SextantisBeta Sextantis404.6710h 30m 17.50-00d 38` 13.1B6VBlue/White
Gamma SextantisGamma Sextantis277.5909h 52m 30.47-08d 06` 17.7A2VWhite

Sextans Facts


NameSextans
AbbreviationSex
Is a Zodiac Sign No
Brightest StarAlpha Sextantis
Area313.515 sq. deg.
Percentage of Night Sky0.76%
Size Position47th
Hemisphere Southern
Site Exoplanet Count7
Meteor Shower Count9
Nearest StarHIP 51317
Nearest Star with Exoplanet(s)HD 92788
Brightest StarAlpha Sextantis
Dimmest StarHD 94014
Furthest StarHIP 48167
Bright Star Count17
Hipparcos Star Count638
Main Star Count3
Messier Deep Space Object Count0
*Non-Messier Deep Space Object Count0
Bordering / Neighbouring / Surrounding ConstellationsLeo
Hydra
Crater

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



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