The Constellation Puppis

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

Puppis is visible in the southern sky in the months around January. The Milky Way runs through it and so it is home to numerous of open clusters, including more than 20 which are brighter than tenth magnitude.

Until the eighteenth century, Puppis was part of the much larger ancient constellation of Argo Navis, listed by Ptolemy among his 48 constellations in the second century. Argo Navis covered over 4% of the sky, an area 25% larger than the biggest modern constellation, Hydra.

In 1763, Nicolas Louis de Lacaille divided it up into three parts: Carina, Puppis and Vela. As a result of this relatively recent subdivision, the Bayer designations (α, β, γ, etc) are split between the stars of the three constellations.

In classical mythology, Argo Navis was the ship sailed by Jason and the Argonauts on their voyage to recover the golden fleece. Puppis represents the ship's poop deck.

Date First Appeared
1756 (Lacaille)
Sky Area
1.6% of the sky
673.4 square degrees
Messier Objects
Puppis contains the following Messier objects: M46, M47, M93.
Caldwell Objects
Puppis contains the following Caldwell object: C71.
Neighbors
The following constellations neighbor Puppis: Canis Major, Carina, Columba, Hydra, Monoceros, Pictor, Pyxis, Vela.
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Brightest Objects in Puppis

Stars Open Clusters Globular Clusters Galaxies
Stars Open Clusters Globular Clusters Galaxies
Naos (mag 2.2) Messier 47 (mag 4.4) NGC 2298 (mag 8.9) NGC 2427 (mag 11.6)
π-Pup (mag 2.7) NGC 2477 (mag 5.8) NGC 2525 (mag 11.6)
Tureis (mag 2.8) Messier 46 (mag 6.1) NGC 2310 (mag 11.8)
τ-Pup (mag 2.9) Messier 93 (mag 6.2) NGC 2517 (mag 12.3)
ν-Pup (mag 3.1) NGC 2546 (mag 6.3) NGC 2578 (mag 13.0)
σ-Pup (mag 3.3) NGC 2527 (mag 6.5)
ξ-Pup (mag 3.3) NGC 2539 (mag 6.5)
c-Pup (mag 3.6) NGC 2423 (mag 6.7)
a-Pup (mag 3.7) NGC 2439 (mag 6.9)
l-Pup (mag 4.0) NGC 2571 (mag 7.0)
P-Pup (mag 4.1) NGC 2482 (mag 7.3)
j-Pup (mag 4.2) NGC 2396 (mag 7.4)
J-Pup (mag 4.2) NGC 2567 (mag 7.4)
16-Pup (mag 4.4) NGC 2579 (mag 7.5)
κ²-Pup (mag 4.4) NGC 2483 (mag 7.6)
NS Pup (mag 4.4) NGC 2533 (mag 7.6)
h²-Pup (mag 4.4) NGC 2489 (mag 7.9)
q-Pup (mag 4.4) NGC 2414 (mag 7.9)
HD 60532 (mag 4.5) NGC 2453 (mag 8.3)
QZ Pup (mag 4.5) NGC 2421 (mag 8.3)
QW Pup (mag 4.5) NGC 2587 (mag 9.2)
V Pup (mag 4.5) NGC 2509 (mag 9.3)
O-Pup (mag 4.5) NGC 2451 (mag 9.5)
f-Pup (mag 4.5) NGC 2479 (mag 9.6)
HD 64740 (mag 4.6) NGC 2580 (mag 9.7)

Ashburn

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

39.04°N
77.49°W
EDT

Color scheme