The Constellation Lepus

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

Lepus lies immediately south of Orion, where it culminates at midnight in the December sky.

The name ‘lepus’ is Latin for hare, and the creature represented here is often said to be chased by Orion's two dogs, Canis Major and Canis Minor. For sure, the two dogs rise and set about an hour behind Lepus. However, the hare is not usually depicted in flight, but rather couched at the hunter's feet.

Lepus is a relatively faint constellation: its brightest star is of third magnitude and is called Arneb, Arabic for ‘hare’. Its only Messier object is the eighth-magnitude globular cluster M79.

Date First Appeared
Ancient
Sky Area
0.7% of the sky
290.3 square degrees
Messier Objects
Lepus contains the following Messier object: M79.
Caldwell Objects
Lepus contains no Caldwell objects
Neighbors
The following constellations neighbor Lepus: Caelum, Canis Major, Columba, Eridanus, Monoceros, Orion.
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Brightest Objects in Lepus

Stars Open Clusters Globular Clusters Galaxies
Stars Open Clusters Globular Clusters Galaxies
Arneb (mag 2.6) Messier 79 (mag 8.2) NGC 1730 (mag 0.0)
Nihal (mag 2.8) NGC 1993 (mag 0.0)
ε-Lep (mag 3.2) IC 2108 (mag 0.0)
μ-Lep (mag 3.3) IC 2152 (mag 0.0)
ζ-Lep (mag 3.5) NGC 1889 (mag 0.0)
γ-Lep (mag 3.6) NGC 2089 (mag 0.0)
η-Lep (mag 3.7) IC 416 (mag 0.0)
δ-Lep (mag 3.8) IC 2130 (mag 0.0)
λ-Lep (mag 4.3) NGC 1710 (mag 0.0)
κ-Lep (mag 4.4) NGC 1794 (mag 0.0)
ι-Lep (mag 4.4) NGC 2131 (mag 0.0)
θ-Lep (mag 4.7) IC 441 (mag 0.0)
HD 34968 (mag 4.7) IC 2143 (mag 0.0)
HD 32309 (mag 4.9) NGC 1738 (mag 0.0)
SS Lep (mag 5.0) NGC 1886 (mag 0.0)
HD 32436 (mag 5.0) NGC 2073 (mag 0.0)
HD 41312 (mag 5.0) IC 2113 (mag 0.0)
HD 34310 (mag 5.0) IC 2154 (mag 0.0)
8-Lep (mag 5.2) NGC 1780 (mag 0.0)
ν-Lep (mag 5.3) NGC 1954 (mag 0.0)
19-Lep (mag 5.3) NGC 2106 (mag 0.0)
HD 35162 (mag 5.4) IC 433 (mag 0.0)
HD 41841 (mag 5.5) IC 2132 (mag 0.0)
HD 42301 (mag 5.5) NGC 1716 (mag 0.0)
HD 34538 (mag 5.5) NGC 1821 (mag 0.0)

Ashburn

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

39.04°N
77.49°W
EDT

Color scheme