APUS, the Bird of Paradise. (Pronounced AY-puss)


This faint constellation near the south celestial pole was introduced in 1603 by the German Astronomer Johann Bayer, in his star atlas Uranometria. This was the first star atlas to cover the entire sky. Bayer seems to have adopted the name from the accounts of voyagers to the southern hemisphere in the previous century, including Amerigo Vespucci and the Dutchman Petrus Theodorus.

To find this constellation look south in the evening sky, find Crux, the Southern Cross and the two bright pointers, and look below. Triangulum Australe, the Southern Triangle is reasonably apparent, but the faint stars of Apus will not be easily visible within city lighting.


Constellation Scorpius Constellation Lupus Constellation Centaurus Constellation Antlia Constellation NormaLupus Constellation Ara Constellation Circinus Constellation Crux Constellation Musca Constellation Vela Constellation Carina Constellation Volans Constellation Pictor Constellation Mensa Constellation Chamaeleon Constellation Octans Triangulum Australe Constellation Apus Constellation Telescopium Constellation Pavo

Chart showing Apus.

Triangulum, Pegasus, and Andromeda

Some stars in the Constellations

α Apodis is a magnitude 3.8 orange giant star 411 light years away.

β Aps is a magnitude 4.2 yellow star 158 light years away.

γ Aps is a magnitude 3.9 yellow star 160 light years away.

δ1, δ2 Aps are a pair of orange giant stars which can be seen as a pair in binoculars or opera glasses. Delta1 varies between 4.66 and 4.87 magnitude and lies 766 light years away, while delta2 is magnitude 5.26 and lies 663 light years away.


Apus lies within 20° of the South celestial pole and so is circumpolar from New Zealand, that is it does not set. The constellation is highest in the sky in June and July at about 9.30 pm.