The Constellation Canis Major

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

Canis Major is best known for the star Sirius, the brightest in the whole sky.

This, together with several other bright stars, make it a prominent resident in the southern January sky.

The Milky Way also runs through the area, and so it is littered with deep sky offerings, including the open cluster M41.

Canis Major is commonly represented as the larger of two dogs which run at the heels of Orion, and because of this, Sirius is sometimes called 'the dog star'.

It is among the constellations listed by Ptolemy in the second century, and is almost certainly Babylonian in origin.

Date First Appeared
Ancient
Sky Area
0.9% of the sky
380.1 square degrees
Messier Objects
Canis Major contains the following Messier object: M41.
Caldwell Objects
Canis Major contains the following Caldwell objects: C58, C64.
Neighbors
The following constellations neighbor Canis Major: Columba, Lepus, Monoceros, Puppis.
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Brightest Objects in Canis Major

Stars Open Clusters Globular Clusters Galaxies
Stars Open Clusters Globular Clusters Galaxies
Sirius (mag -1.4) NGC 2362 (mag 4.1) NGC 2217 (mag 10.4)
Adhara (mag 1.5) Messier 41 (mag 4.5) NGC 2207 (mag 10.7)
Wezen (mag 1.8) NGC 2354 (mag 6.5) NGC 2325 (mag 11.2)
Mirzam (mag 2.0) NGC 2360 (mag 7.2) NGC 2223 (mag 11.4)
Aludra (mag 2.5) NGC 2384 (mag 7.4) NGC 2272 (mag 11.9)
O²-CMa (mag 3.0) NGC 2345 (mag 7.7) NGC 2280 (mag 12.0)
Furud (mag 3.0) NGC 2367 (mag 7.9) NGC 2263 (mag 13.0)
σ-CMa (mag 3.5) NGC 2374 (mag 8.0) NGC 2296 (mag 13.0)
κ-CMa (mag 3.5) NGC 2383 (mag 8.4) NGC 2206 (mag 13.0)
O¹-CMa (mag 3.8) NGC 2204 (mag 8.6) NGC 2293 (mag 13.0)
ν²-CMa (mag 4.0) NGC 2243 (mag 9.4) NGC 2283 (mag 13.0)
ω-CMa (mag 4.0) NGC 2318 NGC 2380 (mag 13.0)
θ-CMa (mag 4.1) NGC 2358 NGC 2211 (mag 14.0)
Muliphein (mag 4.1) NGC 2292 (mag 14.0)
ξ¹-CMa (mag 4.3) NGC 2212 (mag 14.0)
ι-CMa (mag 4.4) NGC 2267 (mag 14.0)
τ-CMa (mag 4.4) NGC 2216 (mag 14.0)
ν³-CMa (mag 4.4) NGC 2227 (mag 14.0)
EW CMa (mag 4.5) NGC 2271 (mag 14.0)
λ-CMa (mag 4.5) NGC 2295 (mag 14.0)
ξ²-CMa (mag 4.5) IC 452
π-CMa (mag 4.7) IC 2171
HD 56618 (mag 4.7) IC 456
EY CMa (mag 4.8) IC 2163
HD 47667 (mag 4.8)

Ashburn

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

39.04°N
77.49°W
EST

Color scheme