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A Complete Guide to the Solar System and the Night Sky
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public Observing fromLocation: Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt
north SunriseRise: 7:50  
clear_day Transit: 11:50  
SunsetSet: 15:49 south
wb_twilight Civil TwilightWhat's Visible Now?
All Constellations » 

Draco (The Dragon) Constellation

Altitude: 57.6°   Azimuth: 314.9°   Direction: North-West

Draco (pronounced ˈdreɪkoʊ) is the Latin name of a large constellation (in fact it extends itself for about 70 degrees across the sky) situated close to the northern celestial pole. As such, it is visible for most part of the year from the northern hemisphere.

In English language this constellation is also known as "The Dragon" while in astronomical texts and literature this constellation is often abbreviated as "Dra" (according to the standard of the International Astronomical Union - IAU) or as "Drac" (according to a naming convention used by NASA).

The Latin genitive of the constellation name is "Draconis" (pronounced drəˈkoʊnɪs) and it is used to identify some of the brightest stars in this constellation based on the Bayer or Flamsteed star naming convention. For instance: α Draconis (the brightest star of Draco based on the Bayer catalog); or 23 Draconis (the 23th star in the constellation of Draco based on the Flamsteed catalog).

Draco is above the horizon from Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt. Altitude: 58°.
Available Resources for Draco

Sky Chart of Draco Constellation

Here we provide a simplified sky chart of the Draco constellation. Alternatively it is possible to locate Draco in the night sky using our Online Interactive Planetarium.

Chart of  constellation
This constellation image is derivatve work based on original work by IAU and Sky & Telescope magazine (Roger Sinnott & Rick Fienberg) CC-BY-3.0.

Visibility of Draco Constellation

Location: Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt
Latitude: 51° 28’ 47” N
Longitude: 0° 00’ 00” E
Timezone: Europe/London

Draco is circumpolar and transits at 11:54 UTC (altitude: 77.8°)

The rise and set times provided here are just directional indications and they refer to a point approximately placed at the center of the constellation. In case of very large constellations (like Draco actually is) these times can have little relevance.

Bright Stars in Draco Constellation

The table below lists the top 20 brightest stars in the Draco constellation. See also the complete list of 224 stars brighter than magnitude 6.5 (approximate) in the constellation of Draco. Click on each star to see more details about it.

HR Number(*) Star designation Proper name Visual magnitude Color Notes
HR6705 γ Draconis Eltanin 2.23 Multiple;
HR6132 η Draconis Athebyne 2.74 Variable; Multiple;
HR6536 β Draconis Rastaban 2.79 Multiple;
HR7310 δ Draconis Altais 3.07 Double;
HR6396 ζ Draconis Aldhibah 3.17
HR5744 ι Draconis Edasich 3.29 Variable; Double;
HR6927 χ Draconis 3.57 Variable; Multiple;
HR5291 α Draconis Thuban 3.65 Variable;
HR6688 ξ Draconis Grumium 3.75 Double;
HR7582 ε Draconis 3.83 Variable; Double;
HR4434 λ Draconis Giausar 3.84 Variable;
HR4787 κ Draconis 3.87 Variable;
HR5986 θ Draconis 4.01
HR6920 φ Draconis 4.22 Variable; Multiple;
HR3751 4.29
HR7352 τ Draconis 4.45 Variable;
HR7685 ρ Draconis 4.51 Multiple;
HR6636 ψ1 Draconis Dziban 4.58 Multiple;
HR7371 π Draconis 4.59
HR5226 10 Draconis 4.65 Variable; Multiple;
...go to the complete list of 224 bright stars in the constellation of Draco

(*) HR stands for Harvard Revised Bright Star Catalogue, which is also known as the Yale Catalogue of Bright Stars.

Deep Sky Objects in Draco Constellation

The table below lists the 20 brightest deep sky objects in the Draco constellation. See also the complete list of 349 deep sky objects in the constellation of Draco. The list includes objects from the Messier, New General Catalogue (NGC) and Index Catalogue (IC).

Name Type Magnitude
NGC 6543 (Cat's Eye Nebula) Planetary Nebula 9.01 (V)
NGC 4125 Galaxy 9.72 (V)
NGC 5866 (Spindle Galaxy) Galaxy 9.89 (V)
NGC 4236 Galaxy 10.08 (V)
NGC 6503 Galaxy 10.28 (V)
NGC 3147 Galaxy 10.61 (V)
NGC 6340 Galaxy 11.01 (V)
NGC 6015 Galaxy 11.14 (V)
NGC 5907 Galaxy 11.4 (B)
NGC 6643 Galaxy 11.8 (B)
NGC 4750 Galaxy 11.8 (B)
NGC 5879 Galaxy 11.9 (B)
NGC 4589 Galaxy 12 (B)
NGC 5678 Galaxy 12.1 (B)
NGC 6412 Galaxy 12.4 (B)
NGC 3735 Galaxy 12.4 (B)
NGC 5982 Galaxy 12.4 (B)
NGC 4386 Galaxy 12.6 (B)
NGC 6140 Galaxy 12.6 (B)
NGC 4648 Galaxy 12.6 (B)
...go to the complete list of 349 deep sky objects in the constellation of Draco