The Constellation Directory


"The Stern"


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

Abbreviation: Pup
Genitive: Puppis
Constellation family: Heavenly Waters
Nearest constellations: Canis Major, Carina, Columba, Hydra, Monoceros, Pictor, Pyxis, and Vela
Right ascension: 7.57h
Declination: -39.39°
Visible between latitudes: +40° and -90°
Square degrees: 673
Luminary: Naos (Zeta Puppis)
Named stars: Naos, Ahadi, Tureis, and Asmidiske
Notable deep sky objects: M46, M47, M93, and NGC 2451


Argo Navis and Puppis by Gerard Mercator

By Gerard Mercator (1512-1594) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Puppis is one of the largest constellations in the Southern Hemisphere. It is best seen in March.


Puppis used to be part of a much bigger constellation called Argo Navis, which in Greek mythology represented the ship Jason and the Argonauts sailed on during their mission to find the Golden Fleece (often associated with Aries). Argo Navis was split into four separate constellations when the International Astronomical Union (IAU) defined the official 88 constellations.

In the original Argo Navis, Puppis represented the stern, Carina the keel, Pyxis the compass, and Vela the sails.