The Constellation Canis Minor

by Dominic Ford
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Canis Minor

Canis Minor is a small constellation, visible just to the north of the celestial equator in the months around January.

It contains only one prominent object: the eighth brightest star in the whole sky, Procyon.

It is commonly represented as the smaller of two dogs running on either side of Monoceros. Together, the pair follow at the heels of Orion.

The Greek name of the star ‘Procyon’ means ‘before the dog’, and is derived from the fact that it rises earlier than the other dog, Canis Major.

This constellation is among those listed by Ptolemy in the second century, and is almost certainly Babylonian in origin.

Canis Minor does not contain any deep sky objects which are within easy reach of any but the largest amateur telescopes.

Date First Appeared
Sky Area
0.4% of the sky
183.4 square degrees
Messier Objects
Canis Minor contains no Messier objects
Caldwell Objects
Canis Minor contains no Caldwell objects
The following constellations neighbor Canis Minor: Cancer, Gemini, Hydra, Monoceros.
Canis Minor Canis Minor
The constellation Canis Minor as it appears to the unaided eye. Roll mouse over to see labels.
Source: Stellarium.




Color scheme

Brightest Objects in Canis Minor

Hover the pointer over the name of an object to highlight its position on the starchart to the right, or click to see more information.

Stars Open Clusters Globular Clusters Galaxies
Procyon (mag 0.4) NGC 2394 NGC 2470 (mag 12.7)
Gomeisa (mag 2.9) NGC 2459 NGC 2485 (mag 13.2)
γ-CMi (mag 4.3) NGC 2538 (mag 13.8)
G-CMi (mag 4.4) NGC 2508 (mag 14.0)
6-CMi (mag 4.5) NGC 2350 (mag 14.0)
ε-CMi (mag 5.0) NGC 2504 (mag 14.2)
ζ-CMi (mag 5.1) NGC 2416 (mag 14.3)
η-CMi (mag 5.2) IC 494 (mag 14.3)
11-CMi (mag 5.2) NGC 2510 (mag 14.5)
δ¹-CMi (mag 5.2) IC 498 (mag 14.6)
14-CMi (mag 5.3) NGC 2496 (mag 14.7)
HIP 34987 (mag 5.4) IC 2231 (mag 14.9)
1-CMi (mag 5.4) NGC 2511 (mag 15.0)
δ²-CMi (mag 5.6) NGC 2499 (mag 15.0)
HIP 39213 (mag 5.6) NGC 2402 (mag 15.4)
HIP 35005 (mag 5.7) NGC 2491 (mag 15.9)
HIP 34387 (mag 5.7)
δ³-CMi (mag 5.8)
HIP 35120 (mag 5.8)
HIP 38712 (mag 5.9)
HIP 35476 (mag 5.9)
HIP 37031 (mag 5.9)
HIP 35509 (mag 5.9)
HIP 37478 (mag 5.9)
HIP 35712 (mag 6.0)
HIP 38868 (mag 6.0)
HIP 34768 (mag 6.1)
HIP 34789 (mag 6.2)
HIP 38794 (mag 6.2)
HIP 38300 (mag 6.2)
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