The Constellation Pyxis

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

Pyxis is a small and faint southern constellation which appears highest in the evening sky in the months around January.

It lies just north of the ship of the Argonauts, now divided between the three constellations Carina, Puppis and Vela. In ancient times, the brightest stars of Pyxis once formed the mast of the ship.

The name ‘Pyxis’ is Latin for compass, and was applied to this area of sky by Nicolas Louis de Lacaille in 1756. The compass is represented by a line of three fourth-magnitude stars.

Lying close to the Milky Way, Pyxis is home to four open clusters which have NGC designations: NGC 2627, NGC 2818, NGC 2658 and NGC 2635.

Date First Appeared
1756 (Lacaille)
Sky Area
0.5% of the sky
220.8 square degrees
Messier Objects
Pyxis contains no Messier objects
Caldwell Objects
Pyxis contains no Caldwell objects
The following constellations neighbor Pyxis: Antlia, Hydra, Puppis, Vela.
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Brightest Objects in Pyxis

Stars Open Clusters Globular Clusters Galaxies
Stars Open Clusters Globular Clusters Galaxies
α-Pyx (mag 3.6) NGC 2818 (mag 8.2) NGC 2613 (mag 10.4)
β-Pyx (mag 4.0) NGC 2627 (mag 8.4) NGC 2663 (mag 12.3)
γ-Pyx (mag 4.0) NGC 2658 (mag 9.2) NGC 2888 (mag 12.5)
κ-Pyx (mag 4.6) NGC 2635 (mag 11.2)
λ-Pyx (mag 4.7)
θ-Pyx (mag 4.7)
δ-Pyx (mag 4.9)
ζ-Pyx (mag 4.9)
HD 75605 (mag 5.2)
η-Pyx (mag 5.2)
HD 73752 (mag 5.3)
HD 72310 (mag 5.4)
ε-Pyx (mag 5.6)
HD 72227 (mag 5.6)
HD 74824 (mag 5.7)
HD 71801 (mag 5.7)
HD 75629 (mag 5.9)
HD 73072 (mag 6.0)
HD 74879 (mag 6.1)
HD 74706 (mag 6.1)
HD 73900 (mag 6.1)
HD 81753 (mag 6.1)
HD 78676 (mag 6.1)
HD 75649 (mag 6.2)
HD 77361 (mag 6.2)




Color scheme