The Constellation Camelopardalis

by Dominic Ford
Camelopardalis Camelopardalis
The constellation Camelopardalis. Roll mouse over to see labels.
Source: Stellarium.

Camelopardalis is a large but faint area of sky close to the north celestial pole.

It does not contain any bright stars, and furthermore it also lies well away from the plane of the Milky Way and does not contain any bright deep sky objects either. However, because there is little obscuration from nearby material it is a good place to observe the distant universe, and it contains many faint galaxies.

Rather improbably, the name ‘Camelopardalis’ means ‘giraffe’ and was given to this sky area by Plancius in 1612. It had previously been left unnamed by Greek astronomers since it did not contain any bright stars.

The giraffe in question is supposedly the animal Rebecca rode to marry Isaac in the Book of Genesis, though the Biblical story itself refers to a camel. Legend has it that Johannes Hevelius saw the spots of a giraffe in the constellation's stars, prompting the association.

Date First Appeared
1612 (Plancius)
Sky Area
1.8% of the sky
756.8 square degrees
Messier Objects
Camelopardalis contains no Messier objects
Caldwell Objects
Camelopardalis contains the following Caldwell objects: C5, C7.
Neighbors
The following constellations neighbor Camelopardalis: Auriga, Cassiopeia, Cepheus, Draco, Lynx, Perseus, Ursa Major, Ursa Minor.
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Brightest Objects in Camelopardalis

Stars Open Clusters Globular Clusters Galaxies
Stars Open Clusters Globular Clusters Galaxies
β-Cam (mag 4.0) NGC 1502 (mag 5.7) NGC 2403 (mag 8.4)
HD 21291 (mag 4.3) IC 361 (mag 11.7) IC 342 (mag 9.0)
α-Cam (mag 4.3) IC 2438 NGC 2655 (mag 10.1)
BE Cam (mag 4.4) NGC 1708 NGC 2146 (mag 10.5)
7-Cam (mag 4.4) NGC 2336 (mag 10.5)
HD 49878 (mag 4.6) NGC 2366 (mag 10.9)
HD 21389 (mag 4.6) IC 356 (mag 11.0)
γ-Cam (mag 4.6) NGC 1961 (mag 11.1)
BK Cam (mag 4.7) NGC 1569 (mag 11.2)
HD 42818 (mag 4.8) NGC 2715 (mag 11.4)
HD 23089 (mag 4.8) NGC 1560 (mag 11.5)
VZ Cam (mag 4.9) NGC 2268 (mag 11.5)
HD 24479 (mag 5.0) NGC 2460 (mag 11.7)
HD 25291 (mag 5.0) NGC 2748 (mag 11.7)
HD 24480 (mag 5.1) NGC 2633 (mag 11.9)
3-Cam (mag 5.1) NGC 2732 (mag 11.9)
43-Cam (mag 5.1) NGC 2314 (mag 11.9)
HD 33564 (mag 5.1) NGC 2544 (mag 12.0)
HD 21447 (mag 5.1) NGC 1530 (mag 12.0)
BD Cam (mag 5.1) NGC 2646 (mag 12.0)
42-Cam (mag 5.1) IC 334 (mag 12.0)
HD 106112 (mag 5.1) IC 467 (mag 12.0)
HD 20797 (mag 5.2) NGC 2523 (mag 12.0)
HD 26764 (mag 5.2) IC 512 (mag 12.0)
TU Cam (mag 5.2) NGC 2551 (mag 12.0)

Ashburn

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

39.04°N
77.49°W
EDT

Color scheme