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 318 (mag 0.0)
γ-Psc (mag 3.7) NGC 403 (mag 0.0)
ω-Psc (mag 4.0) NGC 444 (mag 0.0)
α-Psc (mag 4.1) NGC 462 (mag 0.0)
ι-Psc (mag 4.1) NGC 518 (mag 0.0)
ε-Psc (mag 4.3) NGC 571 (mag 0.0)
O-Psc (mag 4.3) NGC 656 (mag 0.0)
θ-Psc (mag 4.3) NGC 7401 (mag 0.0)
YY Psc (mag 4.4) NGC 7460 (mag 0.0)
δ-Psc (mag 4.4) NGC 7533 (mag 0.0)
ν-Psc (mag 4.4) NGC 7557 (mag 0.0)
β-Psc (mag 4.5) NGC 7604 (mag 0.0)
λ-Psc (mag 4.5) NGC 7700 (mag 0.0)
τ-Psc (mag 4.5) NGC 7778 (mag 0.0)
ξ-Psc (mag 4.6) NGC 7797 (mag 0.0)
33-Psc (mag 4.6) NGC 7825 (mag 0.0)
χ-Psc (mag 4.7) IC 3 (mag 0.0)
φ-Psc (mag 4.7) IC 52 (mag 0.0)
υ-Psc (mag 4.7) IC 73 (mag 0.0)
μ-Psc (mag 4.8) IC 112 (mag 0.0)
27-Psc (mag 4.9) IC 182 (mag 0.0)
κ-Psc (mag 4.9) IC 1468 (mag 0.0)
TX Psc (mag 5.0) IC 1504 (mag 0.0)
64-Psc (mag 5.1) IC 1524 (mag 0.0)
TV Psc (mag 5.1) IC 1596 (mag 0.0)

Ashburn

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

39.04°N
77.49°W
EDT

Color scheme