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
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
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 1964 (mag 10.8)
Nihal (mag 2.8) NGC 2196 (mag 11.2)
ε-Lep (mag 3.2) NGC 1832 (mag 11.4)
μ-Lep (mag 3.3) NGC 1744 (mag 11.4)
ζ-Lep (mag 3.5) NGC 2139 (mag 11.7)
γ-Lep (mag 3.6) NGC 1784 (mag 11.8)
η-Lep (mag 3.7) NGC 1888 (mag 12.0)
δ-Lep (mag 3.8) NGC 2179 (mag 12.4)
λ-Lep (mag 4.3)
κ-Lep (mag 4.4)
ι-Lep (mag 4.4)
θ-Lep (mag 4.7)
HD 34968 (mag 4.7)
HD 32309 (mag 4.9)
SS Lep (mag 5.0)
HD 32436 (mag 5.0)
HD 41312 (mag 5.0)
HD 34310 (mag 5.0)
8-Lep (mag 5.2)
ν-Lep (mag 5.3)
19-Lep (mag 5.3)
HD 35162 (mag 5.4)
HD 41841 (mag 5.5)
HD 42301 (mag 5.5)
HD 34538 (mag 5.5)




Color scheme