Puppis: The Stern


Puppis, The Stern

Puppis was part of Argo Navis, depicted here by Johannes Hevelius in his Firmamentum Sobiescianum sive Uranographia (1687). Source image provided by www.RareMaps.com — Barry Lawrence Ruderman Antique Maps Inc.

Puppis Constellation Profile
Abbreviation: Pup Genitive: Puppis Origin: Lacaille
Location: Southern Hemisphere Size/Area: 673 sq. deg. Size Rank: 20
On Meridian: 9pm February 25th Best View (North): Feb./Mar. Best View (South):
Bordering Constellations: Monoceros, Canis Major, Columba, Pictor, Carina, Vela, Pyxis, Hydra


The Myth Behind the Constellation Puppis

Puppis, “The Stern”, was part of a much larger constellation known as Argo Navis, the ship Argo.  Argo was the vessel that Jason and the Argonauts sailed on during their quest for the Golden Fleece (see Aries.)  In the mid-eighteenth century French astronomer Nicolas-Louis de La Caille divided this super constellation into three parts; Carina, Puppis and Vela.  He also created a fourth constellation, Pyxis, using stars from part of this vast group.

Puppis Constellation Points of Interest

Interesting Objects in the Constellation Puppis
Name Messier NGC Type Visibility
M46 NGC 2437 Open Cluster Binoculars
M47 NGC 2422 Open Cluster Naked-Eye
M93 NGC 2447 Open Cluster Binoculars


Bright Stars in Puppis

These are the stars in Puppis with a minimum magnitude of 3.0.

Name Bayer Name Magnitude Color Luminosity Distance
Naos Zeta Puppis 2.21  Blue 223,095 suns 1418 ly
Pi Puppis Pi Puppis 2.71  Orange 79,330 suns 1168 ly
Tureis Rho Puppis 2.83  Yellow-White 24 suns 63 ly
Tau Puppis Tau Puppis 2.94  Orange 430 suns 183 ly