Sculptoris a faint constellation to the south of Aquarius and Cetus. It was invented in the 18th century by the French astronomer Nicolas Louis de Lacaille, who visualized it as a sculptor's studio, although its name has since been changed. Its brightest star, Alpha Sculptoris, is of only magnitude 4.3. Sculptor contains the south pole of our Galaxy - the point 90 degrees south of the plain of the Milky Way. In this region, our view of the universe is uninterrupted by intervening gas and dust in our Galaxy, so many faint and distant galaxies are visible. The north galactic pole lies in Coma Berenices.
Depiction: The Sculptor's Studio
Highest in the Sky: October to November
Size Ranking: 36th
Coverage Area: 475 Sq. Degrees
Right Acension: 24 hours
Visibility: 47°N to 90°S
NGC 55: Barred spiral galaxy
NGC 253: Sculptor Galaxy
NGC 288: Globular cluster
NGC 300: Spiral galaxy
NGC 7793: Spiral galaxy
Sculptor Group: Group of Galaxies
Best Viewed Objects/Stars
A double star that can be divided with a small telescope. The 5th- and 9th-magnitude components are a true binary pair that orbit each other every 1,200 years or so. They are 89 light-years away.
A variable red giant that ranges between 6th and 8th magnitudes in a cycle lasting about a year.
A spiral galaxy, tilted nearly edge-on to us, so that it appears cigar-shaped when viewed with a small telescope.
A spiral galaxy. Like NGC 55, it appears to us edge-on, but it is brighter and hence visible with binoculars. A telescope of moderate to large aperture shows traces of dark dust clouds silhouetted against its stars.