The Constellation Delphinus

by Dominic Ford
Delphinus Delphinus
The constellation Delphinus. Roll mouse over to see labels.
Source: Stellarium.

Delphinus is a moderately small and faint constellation which lies close to the southern vertex of the Summer Triangle asterism, near the star Altair in Aquila. It is highest in the evening sky in the months around July.

At its center is a grouping of fourth-magnitude stars, forming an asterism sometimes known as Job's Coffin because of its box-like shape.

The name ‘Delphinus’ is Latin for ‘dolphin’, usually identified as the messenger of Poseidon, sent to entreat the sea nymph Amphitrite to marry him.

The constellation's two brightest stars are sometimes called Rotanev and Sualocin. These strange names first appeared in the Palermo Catalogue of 1814. Together, they spell out the name Nicolaus Venator backwards, which is the Latinized form of Niccolo Cacciatore, an observing assistant. They are the only example of stars named after a real person.

Delphinus is home to a number of notable deep sky objects, including the globular cluster NGC 6934 and the planetary nebula NGC 6891.

Date First Appeared
Ancient
Sky Area
0.5% of the sky
188.5 square degrees
Messier Objects
Delphinus contains no Messier objects
Caldwell Objects
Delphinus contains the following Caldwell objects: C42, C47.
Neighbors
The following constellations neighbor Delphinus: Aquarius, Aquila, Equuleus, Pegasus, Sagitta, Vulpecula.
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Brightest Objects in Delphinus

Stars Open Clusters Globular Clusters Galaxies
Stars Open Clusters Globular Clusters Galaxies
Rotanev (mag 3.6) NGC 6934 (mag 8.9) NGC 6928 (mag 12.6)
Sualocin (mag 3.8) NGC 7006 (mag 10.6) NGC 6930 (mag 13.1)
ε-Del (mag 4.0) NGC 6954 (mag 13.2)
γ²-Del (mag 4.2) NGC 6944 (mag 13.3)
δ-Del (mag 4.4) NGC 6972 (mag 14.0)
ζ-Del (mag 4.7) NGC 7025 (mag 14.0)
ρ-Aql (mag 4.9) NGC 6917 (mag 14.0)
γ¹-Del (mag 5.0) IC 1320 (mag 14.0)
κ-Del (mag 5.1) NGC 6956 (mag 14.0)
17-Del (mag 5.2) NGC 7003 (mag 14.0)
η-Del (mag 5.4) NGC 6927 (mag 14.5)
ι-Del (mag 5.4) IC 1359 (mag 15.0)
Musica (mag 5.5) NGC 6957 (mag 15.0)
16-Del (mag 5.5) NGC 6955 (mag 15.0)
13-Del (mag 5.6) NGC 6969 (mag 15.0)
θ-Del (mag 5.7) NGC 6988 (mag 15.0)
HD 200044 (mag 5.7) NGC 6971 (mag 15.0)
HD 193472 (mag 5.9) IC 5080 (mag 16.0)
HD 196775 (mag 6.0)
15-Del (mag 6.0)
10-Del (mag 6.0)
1-Del (mag 6.2)
EU Del (mag 6.2)
14-Del (mag 6.3)
U Del (mag 7.1)

Ashburn

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

39.04°N
77.49°W
EDT

Color scheme