Pronunciation:

 (SKULP-ter)

Abbreviation:

 Scl

  Genitive:

 Sculptoris 

Right Ascension:

 24 hours

  Declination:

 -30 degrees

Area in Square Degrees:

 475

Crosses Meridian:

 9 PM, November 10

Visible Between Latitudes:

 50 and -90 degrees

The constellation Sculptor, the sculptor's workshop, is located in the southern hemisphere of the sky. It is completely visible in latitudes south of 50 degrees from August through October. It is a medium-sized constellation, covering 475 square degrees of the sky. This ranks it 36 in size among the 88 constellations in the night sky. It is bordered by Aquarius and Cetus to the north, Fornax to the east, Phoenix to the south, Grus to the southwest, and Piscis Austrinus to the west.

There is no mythology associated with Sculptor. It is one of the southern constellations named by Nicolas Louis de Lacaille during his stay at the Cape of Good Hope between 1751 and 1752. Lacaille originally named it Apparatus Sculptoris, which means “the sculptor’s studio.” It was originally depicted as a carved head lying on a table with a sculptor’s mallet and chisels. The constellation’s name was later shortened to Sculptor at the suggestion of astronomer John Herschel.

The constellation Hydra showing common points of interest
Hydra constellation map. © Torsten Bronger CC BY-SA 3.0
The constellation Hydra showing common points of interest
The constellation Hydra showing common points of interest. © Sea and Sky
Object
Designation
Name / Meaning
Object Type
V Mag
1 2 3 4 5
Alpha Sculptoris
Beta Sculptoris
Gamma Sculptoris
Delta Sculptoris
Eta Sculptoris
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
Blue-White Giant Star
Blue-White Subgiant Star
Orange Giant Star
Triple Star System
Red Giant Star
4.30
4.38
4.41
4.59
4.80

Sculptor is a faint constellation with no stars brighter than magnitude 4. The brightest star is Alpha Sculptoris with a visual magnitude of only 4.3. This is a blue-white giant star located 780 light years from Earth. The second brightest star is Beta Sculptoris with a magnitude of 4.38. It is a blue-white subgiant star approximately 178 light years distant. The third brightest star is Gamma Sculptoris with a magnitude of 4.41. It is an orange giant star that lies approximately 179 light years from our solar system.

Sculptor contains no Messier objects. It does contain a few interesting deep-sky objects. The Cartwheel Galaxy is a lenticular galaxy and ring galaxy located 500 million light years from Earth. The Sculptor Dwarf is an irregular galaxy and is one of the galaxies in the Sculptor Group. The Sculptor Group is a small group of galaxies that contains 13 individual galaxies. The deep-sky objects in Sculptor are extremely dim and can only be seen in large telescopes.