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Draco Constellation
Constellation Draco the Dragon Star Map

Draco, the Dragon (Dra)


The Northern constellation of Draco, the Dragon, is best viewed in Summer during the month of July.

Draco is the 8th largest constellation. It's brightest star is Eltanin at magnitude 2.24. The boundary of the Draco constellation contains 22 stars that host known exoplanets.

Draco is a circumpolar constellation, so is visible year-round in the Northern hemisphere. Conversely, it is not visible in the opposite hemisphere.

      1. Pronunciation:
      2. DRAY-co
      1. Meaning:
      2. Dragon
      1. Genitive:
      2. Draconis
      1. Abbreviation:
      2. Dra
      1. Asterism:
      2. Lozenge
      1. Constellation Family:
      2. Ursa Major
      1. Hemisphere:
      2. Northern
      1. Quadrant:
      2. NQ3
      1. Visibility:
      2. 90° N - 15° S
      1. Best viewing month*:
      2. July
      1. Area:
      2. 1083 sq. degrees
      1. Size:
      2. 8th largest
      1. Circumpolar** (N=northern, S=southern):
      2. N circumpolar
      1. Right Ascension (avg):
      2. 17h 57m
      1. Declination (avg):
      2. 63°
      1. Brightest star:
      2. Eltanin  (2.24)
      1. Stars with planets:
      2. 22

    Brightest Stars in Draco

    The 10 brightest stars in the constellation Draco by magnitude.

        1. Star
        2. Magnitude
        3. Spectral class

      Double Stars in Draco

      These are the brightest and easiest-to-find double, triple, and quadruple star systems in the constellation Draco. Also see all star clusters.

          1. Star system
          2. Magnitudes
          3. Type
          1. 16/17 Draconis
          2. 5.4, 6.4, 5.5
          3. triple
          1. Mu Draconis
          2. 5.7, 5.7
          3. double
          1. Nu Draconis
          2. 4.9, 4.9
          3. double
          1. Psi Draconis
          2. 4.6, 5.6
          3. double
          1. 40/41 Draconis
          2. 5.7, 6.0
          3. double

        Nebulae in Draco

        Notable and easy-to-find nebulae in the constellation Draco . Also see all nebulae.

            1. Nebula name
            2. Catalog #
            3. Nebula type

          Galaxies in Draco

          The most notable galaxies in the constellation Draco . Also see all galaxies.

              1. Name
              2. Alt name
              3. Type

            Milky Way Satellites in Draco

            Dwarf satellite galaxies that orbit the Milky Way Galaxy located in the constellation Draco. Also see all Milky Way satellite galaxies.

                1. Galaxy name
                2. Alt name
                3. Magnitude
                1. Draco Dwarf
                2. 10.9
                1. Draco II

              The Dragon Constellation

              Draco, the Dragon, is one of the most prominent constellations in the night sky of the northern hemisphere. Named after a mythical creature, this constellation is steeped in mythology and lore, with a history dating back to the ancient Greeks and Romans. In the field of astronomy, Draco is a source of intrigue due to its collection of deep sky objects and unusual stars.

              Historical Background

              Draco is one of the 48 constellations first listed by the 2nd-century Greek astronomer Ptolemy and is now one of the 88 modern constellations recognized by the International Astronomical Union. Its name, 'Draco', is Latin for dragon and the constellation has been represented as such since ancient times, embodying numerous legends and myths.

              Main Features and Location

              The constellation Draco can be found in the northern celestial hemisphere, and it winds from the point of the north celestial pole in a serpentine path through the sky. The constellation spans over 1,083 square degrees, making it the 8th largest constellation in the night sky.

              The stars of Draco are relatively faint, with the brightest star, Eltanin (Gamma Draconis), having a visual magnitude of 2.23. It lies 154 light-years away from Earth and is an orange giant.

              Significant Stars

              Eltanin, also known as Gamma Draconis, is the brightest star in Draco. This orange giant is more than 150 times as luminous as the Sun and has a diameter 30 times greater. It was historically important in astronomy as its position was used to confirm the aberration of light.

              Another significant star, Thuban (Alpha Draconis), was once the pole star due to the precession of the equinoxes. It held this position around 2700 BC, during the time of the ancient Egyptians. Despite being the alpha star of the constellation, Thuban is relatively faint, only the seventh brightest star in Draco.

              Deep Sky Objects

              Draco is home to several galaxies, including the Draco Dwarf Galaxy, one of the faintest galaxies known, and the Tadpole Galaxy, which acquired its name due to its appearance being reminiscent of a tadpole. The Cat's Eye Nebula (NGC 6543), one of the most structurally complex nebulae observed, is also located in Draco.

              Among the most striking deep sky objects in Draco is the Spindle Galaxy (Messier 102), an edge-on lenticular or spiral galaxy that presents viewers with its side, creating the appearance of a spindle.


              Given its location near the North Pole, Draco is visible year-round in many parts of the Northern Hemisphere. In particular, the constellation is completely visible in locations north of latitude 45 degrees N. Eltanin, the constellation's brightest star, can be found using the brighter stars of the Big Dipper.

              While it may lack the bright stars found in some other constellations, Draco is a constellation with rich history and a fascinating set of deep sky objects. The constellation offers much to explore for both amateur stargazers and seasoned astronomers.

              Role in Astronomy's History

              Draco's position in the northern sky has made it a critical part of astronomical history. Thuban, as a former pole star, has helped in understanding the precession of the equinoxes. Eltanin's position was used to measure the aberration of light, lending proof to Earth's motion around the Sun. This, along with the constellation's many intriguing deep-sky objects, makes Draco a noteworthy component of the night sky.

              * Constellation shown for northen hemisphere skies. For the southern hemisphere, constellations appear rotated 180 degrees (upside-down and left-right reversed) from what is shown. Remember that seasons are reversed too - summer in northern latitudes is winter in southern latitudes.

              ** Circumpolar constellations are visible year-round in the hemisphere listed (and not at all in the opposite hemisphere).