List of stars in Delphinus
Abbreviation Del
Genitive Delphini
Pronunciation /dɛlˈfaɪnəs/ Delfínus, genitive /dɛlˈfaɪnaɪ/
Symbolism Dolphin
Right ascension 21 h
Declination +10°
Quadrant NQ4
Area 189 sq. deg. (69th)
Main stars 5
Stars with planets 5
Stars brighter than 3.00m 0
Stars within 10.00 pc (32.62 ly) 2
Brightest star Rotanev (β Del) (3.63m)
Nearest star HU Del
(29.01 ly, 8.89 pc)
Messier objects 0
Meteor showers None
Visible at latitudes between +90° and −70°.
Best visible at 21:00 (9 p.m.) during the month of October.

Delphinus is a constellation in the northern sky, close to the celestial equator. Its name is Latin for dolphin. Delphinus was one of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy, and it remains among the 88 modern constellations recognized by the International Astronomical Union. It is one of the smaller constellations, ranked 69th in size.

Delphinus's brightest stars form a distinctive asterism that can easily be recognized. It is bordered (clockwise from north) by Vulpecula the fox, Sagitta the arrow, Aquila the eagle, Aquarius the water-carrier, Equuleus the foal and Pegasus the flying horse.


Notable features


The two brightest stars of this constellation, Svalocin (Alpha Delphini) and Rotanev (Beta Delphini), are not, as one might expect, names dating from antiquity, but instead date from a star catalogue of 1814 that was published at the Palermo Observatory in Italy. When read backwards they form the name Nicolaus Venator which is the Latinized version of the name of the assistant director of that observatory at that time, Niccolò Cacciatore (both Cacciatore and Venator mean hunter).

  • α Del (Sualocin): B9 IV, 3.77m (multiple star association, with 7 components, of which only the A & G components are the primary, the others only optical)
  • β Del (Rotanev): F5 IV, 4m - 4.9 m (5-star association, of which A & B components are primary, the rest optical)
  • γ Del: one of the finest double stars in the sky.
    • γ1 Del: F7 V, 5.14m
    • γ² Del: K1 IV, 4.27m
  • δ Del: A7 IIIp, 4.43m
  • The above mentioned stars form an asterism called Job's Coffin.
  • ε Del (Deneb Dulfim, or the tail of the Dolphin) is a star of spectral class B6 III with a magnitude of 4
  • R Delphini|R Del: Mira-type variable star with a period of 285.5 days; magnitude range between 7.6 and 13.8
  • ρ Aquilae moved across the border into Delphinus in 1992

Deep Space Objects


Delphinus is associated with two stories from Greek mythology.

According to the first one, the Greek god Poseidon wanted to marry Amphitrite, a beautiful nereid. She, however, wanting to protect her virginity, fled to the Atlas mountains. Her suitor then sent out several searchers, among them a certain Delphinus. Delphinus accidentally stumbled upon her and was able to persuade Amphitrite to accept Poseidon's wooing. Out of gratitude the god placed the image of a dolphin among the stars.[citation needed]

The second story tells of the Greek poet Arion of Lesbos (7th century BC), a court musician at the palace of Periander, ruler of Corinth. Arion had amassed a fortune during his travels to Sicily and Italy. On his way home from Tarentum his wealth caused the crew of his ship to conspire against him. Threatened with death, Arion asked to be granted a last wish which the crew granted: he wanted to sing a dirge. This he did, and while doing so, flung himself into the sea. There, he was rescued by a dolphin which had been charmed by Arion's music. The dolphin carried Arion to the coast of Greece and left.[1]


In Chinese astronomy, the stars of Delphinus are located within the Black Tortoise of the North (北方玄武, Běi Fāng Xuán Wǔ).[2]


USS Delphinus (AF-24) and USS Delphinus (PHM-1), two United States Navy ships, are named after the constellation.

See also

Delphinus (Chinese astronomy)


  1. ^ Herodotus, Histories I.23-24;
    also Aulus Gellius, Noctes Atticae XVI.19; Plutarch, Conv. sept. sap. 160-62; Shakespeare, Twelfth Night (Act I, Sc 2, line 16)
  2. ^ (Chinese) AEEA (Activities of Exhibition and Education in Astronomy) 天文教育資訊網 2006 年 7 月 4 日


External links

Coordinates: Sky map 20h 42m 00s, +13° 48′ 00″

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Delphinus — Delphinus …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Delphinus — bezeichnet: eine Gattung der Delfine, siehe Delphinus (Gattung), mit dem Gemeinen Delfin (Delphinus delphis) und dem Langschnäuzigen Gemeinen Delfin (Delphinus capensis) Delphin (Sternbild), ein Sternbild Diese Sei …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Delphinus — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Delphinus (delfín en latín) puede referirse a: la constelación del Delfín; el género Delphinus de delfines; Obtenido de Delphinus Categoría: Wikipedia:Desambiguación …   Wikipedia Español

  • Delphinus — Del*phi nus, n. [L., a dolphin, fr. Gr. delfi s, delfi n.] 1. (Zo[ o]l.) A genus of Cetacea, including the dolphin. See {Dolphin}, 1. [1913 Webster] 2. (Astron.) The Dolphin, a constellation near the equator and east of Aquila. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Delphīnus — (lat.), 1) so v.w. Delphin, s.d.; 2) so v.w. Dauphin …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Delphīnus — (lat.), der Delphin; als Titel soviel wie Dauphin (s.d.) …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Delphinus — [del fī′nəs] n. [L, lit., dolphin: see DELPHINIUM] a small N constellation between Pegasus and Aquila; the Dolphin …   English World dictionary

  • Delphinus — Delphinus …   Wikipédia en Français

  • DELPHINUS — I. DELPHINUS Gall. Dauphin, cognomen primogeniti filii Galliae Regis. vide in voce Delphinalus. II. DELPHINUS Ioh. Antonius, vide ibt. III. DELPHINUS piscis. vide Delphin. IV. DELPHINUS sideris nomen. Varro de R. Rustic. l. 2. c. 5. Stellas eius… …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • Delphinus — noun 1. a constellation in the northern hemisphere near Pegasus and Aquila • Instance Hypernyms: ↑constellation 2. type genus of the Delphinidae • Syn: ↑genus Delphinus • Hypernyms: ↑mammal genus • …   Useful english dictionary

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