The Constellation Canis Minor

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

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.
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Brightest Objects in Canis Minor

Stars Open Clusters Globular Clusters Galaxies
Stars Open Clusters Globular Clusters Galaxies
Procyon (mag 0.4) NGC 2394 NGC 2485 (mag 13.3)
Gomeisa (mag 2.9) NGC 2459 NGC 2538 (mag 13.5)
γ-CMi (mag 4.3) NGC 2350 (mag 14.1)
G-CMi (mag 4.4) NGC 2504 (mag 14.1)
6-CMi (mag 4.5) NGC 2470 (mag 14.2)
ε-CMi (mag 5.0) NGC 2508 (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) IC 498 (mag 14.6)
δ¹-CMi (mag 5.2) NGC 2510 (mag 14.7)
14-CMi (mag 5.3) NGC 2496 (mag 14.8)
HD 55751 (mag 5.4) NGC 2511 (mag 15.0)
1-CMi (mag 5.4) IC 2231 (mag 15.0)
δ²-CMi (mag 5.6) NGC 2499 (mag 15.1)
HD 65900 (mag 5.6) NGC 2402 (mag 15.1)
HD 55730 (mag 5.7) NGC 2491 (mag 15.6)
HD 54079 (mag 5.7)
δ³-CMi (mag 5.8)
HD 56031 (mag 5.8)
HD 64685 (mag 5.9)
HD 56989 (mag 5.9)
HD 60803 (mag 5.9)
HD 57006 (mag 5.9)
HD 61887 (mag 5.9)
HD 57608 (mag 6.0)






Color scheme