The Constellation Directory


"The Eagle"


By IAU and Sky & Telescope magazine (Roger Sinnott & Rick Fienberg) [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Abbreviation: Aql
Genitive: Aquilae
Constellation family: Hercules
Nearest constellations: Aquarius, Capricornus, Delphinus, Hercules, Ophiuchus, Sagitta, Sagittarius, Scutum, Serpens
Right ascension: 19.67h
Declination: -2.50°
Visible between latitudes: +85° and -75°
Square degrees: 652
Luminary: Altair (Alpha Aquilae)
Named stars: Altair, Alshain, Tarazed
Notable deep sky objects: B143-4, NGC 6709, NGC 6755, NGC 6781, NGC 6803


Aquila by Johannes Hevelius

By Johannes Hevelius [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Aquila is an equatorial constellation visible during September.

Aquila's brightest star, Altair, forms part an asterism called the Summer Triangle with Deneb (from Cygnus) and Vega (from Lyra).

In 1999, Aquila was the source of a nova that could be seen with the naked eye. It was caused by the explosion of a white dwarf star located 13,000 light years away.


In Greek mythology, Aquila represented the eagle that was the keeper of Zeus's thunderbolts. According to some sources, Aquila is the eagle who captured Ganymede, also known as Aquarius, who became Zeus's cup bearer.