Delphinus Constellation: Facts & Myths

The northern sky is known to have a number of constellations both big and small; Delphinus
is one of these constellations. As one can understand from its name the meaning of
Delphinus is “the dolphin” and it is one of the smallest constellations. The reason for it being
called ‘Delphinus’ meaning dolphin in Latin is, that is represents a dolphin that was sent by
Poseidon the sea god to find Amphitrite. This is a myth that is been there for ages regarding
the name of this constellation. It is known to be the 69 th constellation when it comes to size
and it is also known for occupying 189 square degrees of area. The Delphinus constellation
belongs to the family of heavenly water constellations, with Carina, Piscis Austrinus, Vela,
Eridanus, Equuelus, Pyxis, Columba and the Puppis.
The location of Delphinus
Being the 69 th constellation, Delphinus is located in northern hemisphere’s 4 th quadrant and
is visible between the latitude +90 degrees and – 70 degrees. The Aquarius, Aquila, Sagitta,
Vulpecula, Equuelus are its neighboring constellations.
The stars and the messier objects
It is known to have five stars that have planets but it doesn’t consist if any messier objects
or any meteor shower. The major stars of this constellation are:
 Alpha Delphini- The brightest star in this constellation is called the Alpha Delphini; it
is a multiple stars that consist of seven components, the A and G, there is a physical
pair and then there are the B, C, D, E and F. This star is also known as the Sualocin,
which is a name that was given after an Italian astronomer names Niccolo
 Beta Delphini- This is a binary star that was discovered in 1872 by S.W Burnham, who
was an American astronomer. It consists of stars that belong to the spectral F5III and
F5 IV.
 Gamma Delphini- This is another binary star which is 101 light years distant. The
main component of this star is a yellow-white dwarf which belong the spectral F7V
with an orange giant star as a companion.
 Delta Delphini- A giant star that belongs to the spectral class of A7IIIp, known to
have a 4.434 visual magnitude.
 Epsilon Delphini- A blue white giant star that belongs to the spectral class B6III and is
358 light years away. This is a slightly variable star and its traditional name is Deneb
Dulfim which means the tail of the dolphin.
The deep sky objects
It has no messier objects but it has some deep sky objects:

 NGC 6934- This is a large cluster that can be found near the Epsilon Delphini star; it is
some 50,000 light years away. This cluster was discovered on September 24, 1785 by
William Herschel.
 NGC 6891- A small planetary nebula, which is located near the Rho Aquila; known to
be 7,200 light years distant and was discovered on September 22 nd 1884 by Ralph
 Blue flash Nebula- This is a small planter nebula which is blue in colour.