Scutum Constellation: Facts & Myths

We are the habitats of planet earth, we eat, breath and sleep. But there are some living beings present around us who do not need to think, breath or sleep etc. This is because they are quite different from us and live an entire disparate lifestyle. Stars are one of them; we are able to see around 6,000 stars from our planet earth. From their life to death, everything is quite distinct from normal human’s life. They can live around million and billion years of life, after this they collapse in themselves and form a black hole. There are many constellations that we can observe from either of the hemispheres of earth i.e., northern and southern hemispheres. Astronomers estimated that around 88 constellations can be seen from earth. Now if you wonder what a constellation is, then you must read further ahead!

Define constellation:

A constellation is basically a group of stars that together form a pattern which can be recognized and understood. There are total 88 constellations visible in present time from earth. These constellations are given significant names which are actually based on mythological figures or aspects. Some of the well-known constellations visible from our planet are Orion, Ursa Major, Sagittarius, Leo, Hercules, and Scutum. They are divided within our hemisphere; some are visible from northern whereas others are visible from the southern hemisphere. Here we will talk about Scutum, a 17th century discovered constellation also known as the fifth smallest visible constellation in our sky.

Scutum: the shield

Name of the constellation is based on its shield-like structure, this why it has given the name of Scutum. In Latin, the meaning of this constellation is “the shield”. If we go with the history them it is observed that this constellation was basically introduced around the 17th century by Polish astronomer named Johannes Hevelius. Its name was given in the honor of polish king Jan 3rd Sobieski. Hevelius gave tribute to the king by giving his name to the Scutum constellation which is later known as Scutum Sobiescianum.

Location of this constellation:

The constellation is located in the southern hemisphere at fourth quadrant. It is visible at latitudes in between +80 degrees to -90 degrees. It is the 84th constellation and known as fifth smallest constellation in the night sky. The neighboring constellations present around Scutum are Sagittarius, Aquila Cauda, and Serpens.

Stars and their magnitude in the constellation Scutum:

The average magnitude of this constellation’s brightest star is 3.85 & which is located in the range of 10 parsec that means 32 light years away from earth. The name of this brightest star is Alpha Scuti. The nearest star of this constellation located in a range of 41.54 light years away from our planet is Lhs 3398. In entire constellation, there exists only one star that has an exoplanet known as COROT-17.  It has two recognizable messier objects known as Messier 11 and 26. Only one meteor shower known as June Scuds is associated with Scutum.

Myths and stories about this constellation:

Though there are not any significant story or myth associated with constellation’s history, the only fact which you observe is that it has the non-classical & historical figure, king Jan 3rd Sobieski. The name of the star was given by the discoverer Johannes Hevelius to commemorate the victory of polish King from Vienna in the year of 1683. Also, the king helped to Hevelius in his discovery of stars and constellation by rebuilding his observatory after fire incident in the year of 1679.

Hence the constellation Scutum like any other too a wonderful cosmic object of the night sky seen from southern part of the earth. If you wish to have a deep and clear observation of stars and celestial objects, there are numerous observation laboratories or places where you are provided instruments and essential guides to determine the stars and its location properly.