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Constellation Puppis (Stern)

Constellation Puppis (Stern)

Southern Hemisphere




The Stern of the Ship (lat. Puppis) covers an area of 673 square degrees. As part of the Argo Navis, Ptolemy added it to the 48 ancient constellations. Later, in 1763, thanks to the French astronomer Nicolas de Lacaille, it became its own constellation. Lacaille thought that the constellation of Argo Navis was too large, so he divided it into the Stern, the Sails (lat. Vela) and the Keel (lat. Carina).

How to spot Puppis

Puppis is located east of the Great Dog (Canis Major) in winter Milky Way. Only the brightest star can be seen from the northern hemisphere, the rest extends over the southern hemisphere. It can be best seen in winter.


Argo Navis was the talking ship of the hero Jason, with whom he traveled to Colchis. There he tried with the help of Hercules and the twins Castor and Pollux to steal the Golden Fleece, the fur of the sacrificed Aries. Jason’s half-brother Pelias was brought to the throne - to get it back himself, Jason should bring him the golden fur, which seemed to be an almost impossible act, as the Golden Fleece was guarded by a dragon in a sacred grove. Ultimately, the king's daughter Medea helped the hero to own the Fleece. In honor of all those involved, the Argo Navis and the Golden Fleece were consecrated as constellations.

Interesting Facts

The brightest star, Rho Puppis, has a magnitude of three and is 65 light years away from us. Although it is only half the size of the sun, it shines 22 times brighter than this one.