Puppis is a constellation in the southern hemisphere. It was introduced by the French astronomer Nicolas Louis de Lacaille in the 18th century. In Latin, Puppis means "the stern."
Puppis was originally part of the much larger constellation Argo Navis, which represented the ship on which Jason and the Argonauts sailed home after stealing the Golden Fleece. Argo Navis was split into three smaller constellations that represent individual parts of the ship: Puppis (the stern), Carina
(the keel and hull) and Vela
(the sails). Puppis is the largest of the three. When Argo Navis was divided, the star designations remained unchanged, which is why Puppis does not have any stars designated alpha and beta.
The constellation Puppis occupies an area of 673 square degrees and contains six stars with known planets. It can be seen at latitudes between +40° and -90° and is best visible at 9 p.m. during the month of February.
The brightest star in the constellation is 
zeta Puppis, also known as Naos ("ship") and Suhail Hadar ("roaring bright one"). It is an extremely hot star as well as one of the rare O-type stars visible to the naked eye. Its mass is 59 times that of the Sun and its surface temperature is 42,400 K. Naos is a runaway star. It was created in a molecular cloud, a star forming region in the constellation Vela
, over 400 light-years from its present location. It is now a blue supergiant 1,090 light-years distant with luminosity approximately 790,000 times that of the Sun.
pi Puppis, the second brightest star in the constellation, lies close to the border with the constellation Canis Major
. It is the brightest star in Collinder 135, an open cluster almost a degree in size. Pi Puppis has the traditional name Ahadi, which means "having much promise." It is a class K supergiant, 925 light-years distant, with a visual magnitude of 2.70. Its luminosity is 19,200 times that of the Sun.
rho Puppis, the third brightest star, is also known as Tureis ("little shield"). It is a yellow-white giant, currently becoming a subgiant, approximately 63 light-years distant. It is one of the brightest pulsating Delta Scuti type variable stars in the sky.
xi Puppis, also known by its traditional name Asmidiske ("gunwale"), a misspelling of Aspidiske ("little shield"), the name of 
iota Carinae. Xi Puppis is a G-type supergiant about 8,300 times more luminous than the Sun. It lies approximately 1,350 light-years from Earth.
Puppis is located right on the Milky Way and it contains a number of interesting star clusters. Messier 93 (NGC 2447) is an open cluster approximately 3,600 light-years distant, with a radius between 10 and 12 light-years. The stars in it form a triangular shape, similar to that of a starfish. The brightest stars in the clusters are blue giants. The cluster is estimated to be about 100 million years old.
Messier 46 (NGC 2437) is a very bright, large open cluster approximately 5,500 light-years from Earth. It contains the planetary nebula NGC 2438.
Only a degree away from Messier 46 is Messier 47, another open star cluster, 1,600 light-years distant. Messier 47 contains about 50 stars and is estimated to be about 78 million years old.
NGC 2451 is another open cluster, 850 light-years distant and about 36 million years old. It contains about 40 stars, the brightest of which is a yellow giant with a magnitude of 3.6.
Puppis belongs to the Heavenly Waters family of constellations, along with Delphinus
, Piscis Austrinus
Constellations directly bordering Puppis are Monoceros
, Canis Major