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Hawaiian Astronomical Society

Constellations: Sculptor -- The Sculptor's Workshop


The 18th century astronomer and map maker Nicolas-Louis de Lacaille named this section of sky L'Atelier du Sculpteur. As such there are no myths associated with this group of stars.


Each map can be clicked on to produce a 916x1200 version of it. They sport red labels, which look good on screen, but which disappear when used with red flashlights. Each map, therefore has a second link to a map better suited for printing in a graphics program, and using in the field. While they are quite large, they are all about 30-35k, and so are easy to view at today's modem speeds. The first map is a wide area view of the constellation, suitable for naked eye browsing. The next views are binocular width, showing stars to mag. 10, deepsky objects to mag. 12.9, and labeling deepsky objects to magnitude 12.

Interactive, wide area map of Sculptor

Map thumbnail

Click the map for a 916x1200 version of the above. Click here for a map better suited for use in the field.

Eastern Section

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This a more detailed view of the constellation. The map displays stars to magnitude 10, and deepsky objects to magnitude 12. Click here for a map better suited for use in the field.

Western Section

Map thumbnail

Click here for a map better suited for use in the field.


Image thumbnail 18k JPEG NGC613 (Bennett 8) is a barred spiral galaxy located 7.8° west of Alpha Sculptoris. Dreyer describes it as very bright (mag. 10), very large (6'x4'), very moderately extended (118°), with an abruptly brighter middle, and a 10th magnitude star to the northeast. The brighter core is much more pronounced in larger amateur instruments (13"), as is the curvature of the galaxy's arms. Photographed by the Ohio State University Bright Galaxy Survey, part of the Astronomical Picture Gallery.
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Image thumbnail 76k JPEG NGC300 (Bennett 6, Caldwell 70) is a spiral galaxy in south-eastern Sculptor located 7.2° north-east of Ankaa (Alpha Phoenicis). Dreyer describes it as fairly bright (mag. 9), very large (20'x15'), with an irregular, elongated shape that brightens slowly toward its nucleus. Larger scopes should see two sprawling, S shaped arms. The tiny mag. 14 galaxy, MCG-6-3-1, sits at the far right (west) of the photograph. From the second generation Digital Sky Survey.
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Image thumbnail 13k JPEG NGC288 (Bennett 5) is a bright (mag.8) globular cluster described as large (13.8'), loose, with stars mags. 12-16. An easy object for a 6", it is located 1.8° south-east of NGC253, and 3.1° NNW of Alpha Sculptoris.

Photo by Doug Clapp with an ST-6 camera, Tri-color RGB of 3-3-9 minutes. Taken at Star Hill Inn October 1996.
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NGC 253

Map thumbnail 62k JPEG.An image of the spiral galaxy NGC 253 (Best 86, Caldwell 65), taken with a ground-based telescope and with the Hubble Space Telescope. The galaxy is located about 8 million light-years away in the constellation Sculptor. Located 4.8° NNW of Alpha Sculptoris and 1.8° north-west of NGC288, this is one of Dreyer's very remarkable objects. He describes it as very, very bright, very, very large, moderately extended in position angle 54°, with a gradually brighter middle. The brighter the telescope, the more detail from the multiple dust lanes swims into view.

Image thumbnail 13k JPEG.Photographer's notes: NGC253: 2 image mosaic made with a 16" F5 and ST-6. Gregory Terrance
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Image thumbnail16k JPEG Image thumbnail97k JPEG
NGC55 (Bennett 1, Caldwell 72) is a spiral galaxy located in southern Sculptor, 3.7° NNW of Ankaa (Alpha Phoenicis). Dreyer calls it very bright (mag. 8.3), very large (25'x4'). There are three nebulous patches, one of which is the off center nucleus.

The first image is from the Anglo Australian Telescope Observatory. The second is a full sized view from the second generation Digital Sky Survey.
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Map thumbnail 65k JPEG. NGC7793 (Bennett 130) is a spiral galaxy located in the middle of the Sculptor lozenge, and described as "like a comet." It shines at mag. 9.6, and measures 9.4'x6.3'. Larger telescopes might detect structure, such as mottling and what appears to be concentric shells. Image is a 20 minute exposure on an ST-8 exposed through a 10" LX200 at 6.3 by Jerry Mulchin.
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