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Canis Major Constellation

Canis Major Constellation — Canis Major (the big dog) is one of the 88 modern constellations, and was also in Ptolemy’s list of 48 constellations.

It is said to represent one of the dogs following Orion the hunter (see also the constellations of Orion, Canis Minor, and Canes Venatici.)

Canis Major contains Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky.

Notable features

Canis Major’s alpha star Sirius is the brightest star besides the Sun as seen from Earth. It is also one of the nearest. The star is referred to as the Dog Star; its name Sirius means scorching.

Other named stars in Canis Major:

– Murzim (β Canis Majoris)

– Muliphen (γ Canis Majoris)

– Wezen (δ Canis Majoris)

– Adara (ε Canis Majoris)

– Furud (ζ Canis Majoris)

– Aludra (η Canis Majoris)

Notable deep sky objects

There aren’t many bright deep sky objects in this region of sky. The only Messier object in Canis Major is M41 (NGC 2287), an open cluster of visual magnitude 4.6. It is located about 4 degrees directly south of Sirius.

Mythology

Not much classical mythology is associated with this constellation. It is said that Canis Major is the larger of the two hunting dogs of Orion and is always pursuing Lepus the hare or helping Orion fight Taurus the bull.

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Abbreviation: CMa
Genitive: Canis Majoris
Meaning in English: the Greater Dog
Right ascension: 7 h
Declination: -20
Visible: to latitude Between 60 and -90
On meridian: 9 p.m., February 15
Area – Total Ranked: 43th 380 sq. deg.
Number of stars with apparent magnitude < 3: 5
Brightest star – Apparent magnitude: Sirius (α Canis Majoris) -1.46

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Canis Major Constellation


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