Star Names:

Sculptor


Map of The Constellation of Sculptor
Please hover over any star to get more information
Sculptor is a faint constellation in the southern hemisphere. Its name is Latin for "sculptor." It was one of the constellations introduced by the French astronomer Nicolas Louis de Lacaille in the 18th century. Lacaille named it Apparatus Sculptoris, which means "the sculptor's studio," but the name was later shortened to Sculptor. The constellation was originally depicted as a carved head lying on a tripod table, next to a mallet and two chisels. There are no myths associated with Sculptor.

The constellation Sculptor occupies an area of 475 square degrees and contains three stars with known planets. It can be seen at latitudes between +50° and -90° and is best visible at 9 p.m. during the month of November.

Sculptor does not contain any stars brighter than third magnitude. The brightest star in the constellation is [7690] alpha Sculptoris, with a magnitude of 4.31. It is a blue-white giant, with luminosity about 1,700 times that of the Sun. It is approximately 680 light-years distant. Alpha Sculptoris is classified as an SX Arietis type variable. Its brightness fluctuates by 0.01 magnitudes.

[7691] beta Sculptoris is a blue-white subgiant, 178 light-years distant, while [7692] gamma Sculptoris is an orange giant, 179 light-years from Earth.

Two other notable stars in the constellation are [7693] delta and [7694] eta Sculptoris. [7693] delta Sculptoris is a triple star system, consisting of a white main sequence dwarf with a magnitude 11 companion star, and a yellow G class star. The Delta Sculptoris system is approximately 143 light-years distant. [7694] eta Sculptoris is a red giant, M class, classified as an irregular variable star, lying about 548 light-years from Earth.

Sculptor contains a notable deep sky object, the Sculptor Dwarf. The Sculptor Dwarf is a dwarf elliptical galaxy that belongs to both the Local Group of galaxies as well as the Sculptor Group, which is the closest neighbour to the Local Group. The Sculptor Galaxy (NGC 253) is the largest member of the Sculptor Group. It is a barred spiral galaxy lying near the border with the constellation Cetus.

Another interesting galaxy in the group is NGC 55, a barred irregular galaxy approximately seven million light-years distant. It can be seen almost edge-on, near the border with the constellation Phoenix.

Sculptor belongs to the Lacaille family of constellations, along with Norma, Circinus, Telescopium, Microscopium, Fornax, Caelum, Horologium, Octans, Mensa, Reticulum, Pictor and Antlia.

Constellations directly bordering Sculptor are Cetus, Aquarius, Piscis Austrinus, Grus, Phoenix and Fornax.


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