Pictor ( Latin: easel) is one of the minor southern (declination −50° to −60°) constellations.
Pictor is a small, faint constellation located between brilliant Canopus and the Large Magellanic Cloud.
Pictor has attracted attention in recent years because of its second-brightest star β Pictoris, 62.9 light-years distant, which is surrounded by an unusual dust disk rich in carbon.
Kapteyn's Star, a nearby red dwarf at the distance of 12.78 light years, is the closest halo star known.
Pictor was invented and named by Abbé Nicolas Louis de Lacaille — noted for his catalogue of nearly 10,000 southern stars, including 42 nebulous objects — in the 17th Century. The constellation has no known pre-18th century mythology surrounding it.
* "Pictor" literally means "painter". The name is an abbreviation of Equuleus Pictoris, "painter's easel".
* Ian Ridpath and Wil Tirion (2007). Stars and Planets Guide, Collins, London. ISBN 978-0007251209. Princeton University Press, Princeton. ISBN 978-0691135564.
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