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
Ancient
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
Neighbors
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) NGC 390 (mag 0.0)
γ-Psc (mag 3.7) NGC 407 (mag 0.0)
ω-Psc (mag 4.0) NGC 446 (mag 0.0)
α-Psc (mag 4.1) NGC 463 (mag 0.0)
ι-Psc (mag 4.1) NGC 489 (mag 0.0)
ε-Psc (mag 4.3) NGC 500 (mag 0.0)
O-Psc (mag 4.3) NGC 509 (mag 0.0)
θ-Psc (mag 4.3) NGC 658 (mag 0.0)
YY Psc (mag 4.4) NGC 7402 (mag 0.0)
δ-Psc (mag 4.4) NGC 7478 (mag 0.0)
ν-Psc (mag 4.4) NGC 7506 (mag 0.0)
β-Psc (mag 4.5) NGC 7534 (mag 0.0)
λ-Psc (mag 4.5) NGC 7684 (mag 0.0)
τ-Psc (mag 4.5) NGC 7701 (mag 0.0)
ξ-Psc (mag 4.6) NGC 7731 (mag 0.0)
33-Psc (mag 4.6) NGC 7779 (mag 0.0)
χ-Psc (mag 4.7) NGC 7802 (mag 0.0)
φ-Psc (mag 4.7) NGC 7827 (mag 0.0)
υ-Psc (mag 4.7) IC 6 (mag 0.0)
μ-Psc (mag 4.8) IC 55 (mag 0.0)
27-Psc (mag 4.9) IC 74 (mag 0.0)
κ-Psc (mag 4.9) IC 114 (mag 0.0)
TX Psc (mag 5.0) IC 194 (mag 0.0)
64-Psc (mag 5.1) IC 1474 (mag 0.0)
TV Psc (mag 5.1) IC 1506 (mag 0.0)

Ashburn

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

39.04°N
77.49°W
EDT

Color scheme