The Constellation Sculptor

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

Sculptor is a faint constellation in the southern sky, visible in the evening sky in the months around September.

Nicolas Louis de Lacaille first gave the name ‘Apparatus Sculptoris’ (the sculptor's studio) to this sky area, but it was later abbreviated to simply ‘Sculptor’.

It has no stars brighter than fourth magnitude, but does contain a number of galaxies of interest, including the Sculptor Group of galaxies – the closest grouping of galaxies to the Local Group of which the Milky Way is a member. Among the brighter members of this group are NGC 253 and NGC 55.

It is also home to the Sculptor Dwarf Galaxy, a small and very diffuse galaxy which is in orbit around the Milky Way. It covers a similar sky area to the full moon, and yet its total brightness is only tenth magnitude, meaning that the very darkest skies are needed to see it.

Sculptor lies 90° away from the plane of the Milky Way, and contains the south galactic pole.

Date First Appeared
1756 (Lacaille)
Sky Area
1.2% of the sky
474.8 square degrees
Messier Objects
Sculptor contains no Messier objects
Caldwell Objects
Sculptor contains the following Caldwell objects: C65, C70, C72.
Neighbors
The following constellations neighbor Sculptor: Aquarius, Cetus, Fornax, Grus, Phoenix, Piscis Austrinus.
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Brightest Objects in Sculptor

Stars Open Clusters Globular Clusters Galaxies
Stars Open Clusters Globular Clusters Galaxies
α-Scl (mag 4.3) NGC 288 (mag 8.1) NGC 253 (mag 7.1)
β-Scl (mag 4.4) NGC 55 (mag 8.0)
γ-Scl (mag 4.4) NGC 300 (mag 9.0)
δ-Scl (mag 4.6) NGC 7793 (mag 9.1)
η-Scl (mag 4.9) NGC 613 (mag 10.0)
ζ-Scl (mag 5.0) NGC 134 (mag 10.1)
ι-Scl (mag 5.2) NGC 7507 (mag 10.4)
θ-Scl (mag 5.2) IC 5332 (mag 10.6)
π-Scl (mag 5.3) NGC 150 (mag 11.1)
μ-Scl (mag 5.3) NGC 24 (mag 11.5)
ε-Scl (mag 5.3) NGC 7513 (mag 11.8)
κ²-Scl (mag 5.4) NGC 254 (mag 11.8)
HD 9525 (mag 5.5) NGC 7755 (mag 12.0)
σ-Scl (mag 5.5) NGC 289 (mag 12.0)
HD 3059 (mag 5.5) NGC 7713 (mag 12.0)
ξ-Scl (mag 5.6) NGC 148 (mag 12.1)
HD 224630 (mag 5.6) NGC 418 (mag 13.0)
HD 218434 (mag 5.6) NGC 439 (mag 13.0)
HD 1187 (mag 5.7) NGC 491 (mag 13.0)
HD 220096 (mag 5.7) NGC 101 (mag 13.0)
HD 344 (mag 5.7) NGC 612 (mag 13.2)
HD 10538 (mag 5.7) NGC 7645 (mag 14.0)
HD 9377 (mag 5.8) NGC 441 (mag 14.0)
HD 8498 (mag 5.8) IC 1578 (mag 14.0)
HD 218619 (mag 5.9) IC 5326 (mag 14.0)

Ashburn

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

39.04°N
77.49°W
EST

Color scheme