Constellations > Small Horse

Lesser Horse is a constellation located in the northern sky. Equuleus is Latin for “little horse” or “foal”.

Several myths are associated with the constellation. It is not known who exactly created it, but Ptolemy added it to the general list in the second century. It is sometimes called “The First Horse” because it stands in front of Pegasus.

Constellation Lesser Horse

An object Designation Meaning of the name Object type Magnitude
1 Alpha Small Horse “Part of a horse” Yellow and white giant 3.92
2 Little Horse Delta No Double star 4.49
3 Small Horse Gamma No Double star 4.69

Facts, position and map

With an area of ​​72 square degrees, Lesser Horse is the second smallest constellation (in front of the Southern Cross). Covers the fourth quadrant in the northern hemisphere (NQ4). It can be found at latitudes between + 90 ° and -80 °. Adjacent to Aquarius, Dolphin and Pegasus.

Small Horse
Lat. title Equuleus
(in genus: Equulei)
Reduction Equ
Symbol Foal
Right ascension from 20h 50m up to 21h twentym
Declination from + 2 ° 00 ‘to + 12 ° 30’
Square 72 sq. degrees
(87th place)
The brightest stars
(value <3m)
  • No;
  • the brightest Kitalfa (α Equ) – 3.92m
Meteor showers
  • No
Nearby constellations
  • Pegasus
  • Dolphin
  • Aquarius
The constellation is visible in latitudes from + 90 ° to -77 °.
Best time to watch – August

It contains no stars with a brightness greater than magnitude 3.00 or an approximation of 32.6 light years (10 parsecs). The brightest star is Alpha Small Horse. The closest is HD 200779, 48.41 light years distant. Consider the scheme of the Lesser Horse constellation on the map of the starry sky.

Constellation Lesser Horse

It contains three stars with planets: HD 200964 (K0IV) – two planets, and WASP-90 (F6) and HAT-P-65 (G2) – one each. It does not have a single Messier object or meteor shower. It is included in the group of Heavenly Waters along with the Dove, Dolphin, Sails, Compass, Stern, Southern Fish, Eridanus and Keel.


Usually the Little Horse is associated with Hippa. This is the daughter of the Centaur Chiron. She was seduced by Aeolus and became pregnant. Hippa was afraid to tell her father, so she fled to the mountains and stayed there until she gave birth to Malanippe. Father set off in search, and then she asked for help from the gods. Artemis answered her and turned her into a mare, after which she sent her to heaven. She is still hiding and only her head protrudes from behind Pegasus (Chiron – Centaurus).

Sometimes Celeris is referred to the constellation – the foal that Mercury gave to Castor. The name means “speed”. It is believed that he was a brother or descendant of Pegasus (winged horse).

Main stars

Explore the bright stars of the Lesser Horse constellation in the northern hemisphere with detailed descriptions and characteristics.

Alpha Little Horse (Kitalfa) is a spectroscopic binary star (G0III) with a visual magnitude of 3.92 and a distance of 186 light years. It ranks first in terms of brightness in the constellation. It is 75 times the brightness of the Sun and 2.72 times its mass.

“Kitalfa” is taken from the Arabic “qiṭ’a

The Little Horse Delta is a binary star, represented by stars of spectral types G0 and F5 and visual magnitudes of 4.49 and 5.4. The system is located 60.3 light years from our star, and its total apparent magnitude is 4.47.

Gamma Small Horse is a binary star of spectral type A9 Sr Eu and visual magnitude 4.7. The distance to us is 118 light years. It is a chemically peculiar star with random variations in brightness. Belongs to class Ap (a kind of A-type star with an overabundance of some metals, and also rotates much more slowly than ordinary A-type stars).

The magnitude of the satellite is 9.05. Removed from the main star by 1.26 arc seconds.

Beta Little Horse is a main sequence (A3V) star with four visual satellites not physically associated with it. The total apparent magnitude is 5.159, and the distance is 360 light years.

The Lambda of the Little Horse is a double star. The primary object is a main sequence star with spectral type F6V. The apparent magnitude is 6.72. It is 332 light years distant from us.

Epsilon Little Horse is a multiple star, represented by four components. It has a visual magnitude of 5.3 and a distance of 196.4 light years.

Little Horse’s Zeta is an old giant (K5 III), 770 light years distant. It has a visual magnitude of 5.593 and is 949 times the size of the Sun.

4 Little Horse is a white main sequence star with an apparent magnitude of 5.94. Located 120.4 light years from us. Belongs to the spectral class F8V. It is twice as bright as the sun. The estimated age is 2.2 billion years.

HD 199942 (HIP 103652, HR 8038) is a main sequence star (A6Vp) with a visual magnitude of 5.98 and is 235.523 light years distant. It is also a binary star system. Travels the galaxy at a speed of 30.3 km / s. According to calculations, in 2.1 million years it will approach our system at a distance of 124 light years.

6 Little Horse is an A-type star that still remains in the main sequence. The spectral class is A2 Vs and the visual magnitude reaches 6.07. It is 440 light years distant from us. It is sometimes called the Gamma of the Lesser Horse D. It’s not that it orbits Gamma, it’s just an optical counterpart 339.13 seconds away.

HD 200964 is a subgiant (K0 IV) with a visual magnitude of 6.64 and a distance of 223 light years. This is an interesting object, as in July 2010 two large exoplanets were noticed in its orbit. The near (orbital period – 614) is almost twice the mass of Jupiter, and the far (orbital period – 825) is slightly behind in mass from it. The large planet makes 4 revolutions around the star, and the smaller planet manages to make 3.

Celestial objects

NGC 7015 is a galaxy with a visual magnitude of 12.4. It is 2.0 ‘x 1.8’ in size and is 212 million light years distant.

NGC 7040 is a spiral galaxy with an apparent visual magnitude of 14.0. Coordinates: 21h 13m 16.5s (right ascension), + 08 ° 51’53.2 (declination).

NGC 7046 is a barred spiral galaxy. It reaches 1.9’x1.4 ‘in size. Visible visual value – 13.10. It was discovered by William Herschel in October 1790.

NGC 7045 is not a deep sky object, but a double star. Found in July 1827 by John Herschel, after which it was added to the list of objects NGC (New General Catalog of Nebulae and Star Clusters). Visual magnitude – 12.0.

You have the opportunity to study the constellation Lesser Horse in the northern hemisphere more carefully if you use not only our photos, but 3D models and an online telescope. For an independent search, a map of the starry sky is suitable.

Constellations of the autumn sky

September Eagle Capricorn Swan Dolphin Small Horse Indian Microscope Peacock Arrow Chanterelle
October Aquarius Cepheus Crane Lizard Octant Pegasus Southern Fish
November Andromeda Cassiopeia Phoenix Fish Sculptor Toucan

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