Lupus headerLupus star map

Abbreviation: Lup

Genitive: Lupi

English: The Wolf

Size Ranking: 46th

Area: 334 square degrees.

One of the constellations of prominence is Lupus, which lies in the Milky Way, positioned between Scorpius to its north-east and Centaurus to the south-west. This constellation was regarded by the Greeks and Romans as an unspecified wild animal, impaled on a pole by a centaur, depicted by the adjacent Centaurus. Its identification as a wolf seems to have become common in Renaissance times.

A method of finding Lupus, I suggest, is to start at βCen, move to αCen, then turn right through 90° and move out to αLup, such that the distance αCen to αLup is 3 times the distance between the Pointers, (see the blue lines in the diagram).

Lupus contains eleven stars above fourth magnitude and is considered to be rich in double stars.

Features of Interest:

α(alpha)Lup, at magnitude 2.30, is the brightest  star in Lupus. It is a blue giant star 548ly away. It has the ancient name, Men.

β(beta)Lup, has the ancient name, KeKouan, and is another blue giant of magnitude 2.68 and 524ly distant.

γ(gamma)Lup, is a blue-white star 570ly away and of magnitude 2.78. It is a close binary with a 190-year orbital period, splittable, I am informed, only in larger apertures, >250mm.

δ(delta)Lup, is magnitude 3.22, and distance 587ly.

ε(epsilon)Lup, 504ly away, is a blue-white star of magnitude 3.37. It is a close double, splittable only in large apertures, as the secondary star is only of magnitude 7.20 with a minute separation of 0.6″.

ζ(zeta)Lup, is magnitude 3.41 and 137ly distant.

η(eta)Lup, 493ly away, is a double star consisting of a magnitude 3.60 primary, separated by 15.0″ from a magnitude 7.80 companion. The contrast in magnitude makes the secondary difficult to observe.

κ(kappa)Lup, is an easily observable double star consisting of blue-white components of magnitude 3.90 and 5.70, with a separation of 26.8″; it is 188ly away.