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David

Darling

Canis Major

Canis Major constellatio

Canis Major. © 2003 Torsten Bronger.


Canis Major (abbreviation: CMa), the Great Dog, is the larger of Orion's two hunting dogs. A prominent southern constellation, it lies to the east and a bit south of Orion and is easily found by way of Sirius, its brightest star and the brightest star in the sky.

 

See below for details of the constellation's brightest stars and interesting deep sky objects.

 


NGC 2207 and IC 2163

 

NGC 2207 and IC 2163

 

NGC 2207 and IC 2163 are a pair of spiral galaxies In Canis Major in the process of colliding and merging with each other. They lie at a distance of about 80 million light-years from the Milky Way. Both galaxies were discovered by John Herschel in 1835.

 


Stars in Canis Major brighter than magnitude 4.0
Star Visual mag. Abs. mag. Spectral type Distance (lt-yr) R.A. (h m s) Dec. (° ' ")
Alpha (Sirius) -1.44 1.46 A0Vm 8.6 06 45 09 -16 42 58
Epsilon (Adhara) 1.50 -4.11 B2II 430 06 58 38 -28 58 20
Delta (Wezen) 1.83 -6.87 F8Ia 1,790 07 08 23 -26 23 36
Beta (Mirzam) 1.98v -3.95 B1II-III 500 06 22 42 -17 57 22
Eta (Aludra) 2.45 -7.51 B5Ia 3,200 07 24 06 -29 18 11
Zeta (Phurad) 3.02 -2.05 B2.5V 336 06 20 19 -30 03 48
Omicron2 3.02 -6.46 B3Iab 2,570 07 03 01 -23 50 00
Kappa 3.50 -3.42 B1.5IVne 790 06 49 50 -32 30 31
Omicron1 3.87 -4.37 K2Iab 1,220 06 54 08 -24 11 02
Omega1 3.89 -5.03 K3Ia 1,980 07 14 49 -26 46 22
Nu2 3.95 2.46 K1III 65 06 36 41 -19 15 22


Other objects of interest
Name Type of object Notes
UW CMa star A Beta Lyrae star (eclipsing variable) in the same low-power field as NGC 2362. The components have masses of about 23 and 19 solar masses and a combined luminosity of at least 16,000 that of the Sun
M41 (NGC 2287) open cluster More than 50 stars of about eighth magnitude with a bright orange-red star near the center, partly resolved with binoculars. Magnitude 4.5; diameter 38'; R.A. 06h 47.0m, Dec. -20° 44’ (about 4° SW of Sirius).
NGC 2362 open cluster A young cluster, about 5,000 light-years away, centered on the hot, luminous star Tau CMa. Magnitude 4; diameter 8'; R.A. 07h 17.8m, Dec. -24° 57'
NGC 2359 bright nebula Thor's Helmet Nebula. See separate entry
Canis Major Dwarf galaxy The closest satellite galaxy to Earth.


Constellations
Andromeda | Antlia | Apus | Aquarius | Aquila | Ara | Aries | Auriga | Bootes | Caelum | Camelopardalis | Cancer | Canes Venatici | Canis Major | Canis Minor | Capricornus | Carina | Cassiopeia | Centaurus | Cepheus | Cetus | Chamaeleon | Circinus | Columba | Coma Berenices | Corona Austrina | Corona Borealis | Corvus | Crater | Crux | Cygnus | Delphinus | Dorado | Draco | Equuleus | Eridanus | Fornax | Gemini | Grus | Hercules | Horologium | Hydra | Hydrus | Indus | Lacerta | Leo | Leo Minor | Lepus | Libra | Lupus | Lynx | Lyra | Mensa | Microscopium | Monoceros | Musca | Norma | Octans | Ophiuchus | Orion | Pavo | Pegasus | Perseus | Phoenix | Pictor | Pisces | Piscis Austrinus | Puppis | Pyxis | Reticulum | Sagitta | Sagittarius | Scorpius | Sculptor | Scutum | Serpens | Sextans | Taurus | Telescopium | Triangulum | Triangulum Australe | Tucana | Ursa Major | Ursa Minor | Vela | Virgo | Volans | Vulpecula