Canes Venatici. © 2003 Torsten Bronger.
Canes Venatici (abbreviation: CVn), the Hunting Dogs, is a small, faint northern constellation, surrounded by Ursa Major to the north, Boötes to the east, and Coma Berenices to the south. Its only star brighter than magnitude 4.0 is Alpha2 CVn, or Cor Caroli (visual magnitude 2.89; absolute magnitude 0.89; spectral type A0Vp; distance 82 light-years; RA 12h 56m 2s, Dec +38° 19' 03"). Its second brightest star, Chara, however, is of great interest because it has been ranked as the nearest Sunlike star most likely support life. Canes Venatici is particularly well-endowed with galaxies. See below for details of the constellation's interesting deep sky objects.
Canes Venatici Cloud
The Canes Venatici Cloud is one of the clouds of galaxies into which the Local Supercluster is considered to be divided. The Canes Venatici Cloud contains the Local Group, and a dozen others, including the Canes Venatici I Group, the Canes Venatici II Group, the Sculptor Group, the M81 Group, the M101 Group, and the Coma I Group. It takes the form of a flat disk, 650,000 light-years thick and 46 million light-years across.
Canes Venatici I Group
The Canes Venatici I Group is a loose and sparse group of galaxies centered on NGC 4214, 4244, and 4395, about 15 million light-years away. It contains a large number of medium-sized dwarf systems. The spiral galaxy M94 also probably lies at the back of this group.
Canes Venatici II Group
The Canes Venatici II Group is a group of galaxies with a large collection of spiral galaxies, the dominant members are which are probably M106, NGC 4096, and NGC 4490. It lies at an average distance of 22 million light-years , directly behind the Canes Venatici I Group.
|Other objects of interest|
|name||type of object||notes|
|Y CVn (La Superba)||star||See separate article|
|M3 (NGC 5272)||globular cluster||One of the brightest of its class, it looks like a small comet through binoculars. Magnitude 6.4; diameter 10; RA 13h 41m, Dec +28° 32'|
|Whirlpool Galaxy||galaxy||M51 (NGC 5194). See separate article|
|Sunflower Galaxy||galaxy||M63 (NGC 5055). See separate article|
|M94 (NGC 4736)||galaxy||A face-on Sab-type spiral with a very bright core. Magnitude 8.2; size 11.0' × 9.1'; RA 12h 50m, Dec +41° 17'|
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