The Constellation Pisces

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

Pisces is an equatorial constellation, lying immediately south of Andromeda and north of Cetus. It appears highest in the evening sky in the months around September.

It is one of the faintest of the ancient constellations, containing no stars brighter than magnitude 3.6. Its brightest deep sky object is the galaxy M74 at magnitude 9.2.

Pisces is one of the twelve zodiacal constellations, and the Sun passes through it each year between mid-March and mid-April. This includes the moment when the Sun passes northward across the equator at the vernal equinox each March, defined to be the zero point of right ascension.

Pisces is traditionally represented by a pair of fish swimming on opposite directions with their tails connected by a cord. In Greek mythology, these fish are sometimes said to have rescued Aphrodite and her son Eros from the monster Typhon sent by Gaia.

This constellation is almost certainly of Babylonian rather than Greek origin, and the significance of the cord connecting the tails of the two fish has been lost to history.

Date First Appeared
Sky Area
2.2% of the sky
889.4 square degrees
Messier Objects
Pisces contains the following Messier object: M74.
Caldwell Objects
Pisces contains no Caldwell objects
The following constellations neighbor Pisces: Andromeda, Aquarius, Aries, Cetus, Pegasus, Triangulum.
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Brightest Objects in Pisces

Stars Open Clusters Globular Clusters Galaxies
Stars Open Clusters Globular Clusters Galaxies
η-Psc (mag 3.6) Messier 74 (mag 9.2)
γ-Psc (mag 3.7) NGC 488 (mag 10.3)
ω-Psc (mag 4.0) NGC 524 (mag 10.6)
α-Psc (mag 4.1) NGC 660 (mag 10.8)
ι-Psc (mag 4.1) NGC 676 (mag 11.0)
ε-Psc (mag 4.3) NGC 474 (mag 11.1)
O-Psc (mag 4.3) NGC 507 (mag 11.2)
θ-Psc (mag 4.3) NGC 520 (mag 11.2)
YY Psc (mag 4.4) NGC 741 (mag 11.3)
δ-Psc (mag 4.4) NGC 7562 (mag 11.5)
ν-Psc (mag 4.4) NGC 128 (mag 11.6)
β-Psc (mag 4.5) NGC 7785 (mag 11.6)
λ-Psc (mag 4.5) NGC 718 (mag 11.7)
τ-Psc (mag 4.5) NGC 7541 (mag 11.7)
ξ-Psc (mag 4.6) NGC 467 (mag 11.9)
HD 28 (mag 4.6) NGC 470 (mag 11.9)
χ-Psc (mag 4.7) NGC 383 (mag 11.9)
φ-Psc (mag 4.7) NGC 514 (mag 11.9)
υ-Psc (mag 4.7) NGC 316 (mag 12.0)
μ-Psc (mag 4.8) NGC 313 (mag 12.0)
HD 224533 (mag 4.9) NGC 499 (mag 12.0)
κ-Psc (mag 4.9) NGC 194 (mag 12.1)
TX Psc (mag 5.0) NGC 7716 (mag 12.2)
HD 4676 (mag 5.1) NGC 193 (mag 12.3)
TV Psc (mag 5.1) NGC 125 (mag 12.3)




Color scheme