The Constellation Carina

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

Carina is visible in the far southern sky in the months around January. Visually, it is dominated by the star Canopus, the second brightest star in the sky.

It is also home to one of the sky's most variable stars, η-Car, which in recent times has remained rather faint at mag 7–8, but in 1843 briefly rivalled Sirius in brightness at mag –1.5.

Until the eighteenth century, Carina was part of the much larger ancient constellation of Argo Navis, listed by Ptolemy among his 48 constellations in the second century. Argo Navis covered over 4% of the sky, an area 25% larger than the biggest modern constellation, Hydra.

In 1763, Nicolas Louis de Lacaille divided it up into three parts: Carina, Puppis and Vela. As a result of this relatively recent subdivision, the Bayer designations (α, β, γ, etc) are split between the stars of the three constellations.

In classical mythology, Argo Navis was the ship sailed by Jason and the Argonauts on their voyage to recover the golden fleece. Carina represents the ship's keel.

Date First Appeared
1756 (Lacaille)
Sky Area
1.2% of the sky
494.2 square degrees
Messier Objects
Carina contains no Messier objects
Caldwell Objects
Carina contains the following Caldwell objects: C90, C91, C92, C96, C102.
The following constellations neighbor Carina: Centaurus, Chamaeleon, Musca, Pictor, Puppis, Vela, Volans.
Please wait
Loading 0/4
Click and drag to rotate
Mouse wheel to zoom in/out
Touch with mouse to dismiss

Brightest Objects in Carina

Stars Open Clusters Globular Clusters Galaxies
Stars Open Clusters Globular Clusters Galaxies
Canopus (mag -0.6) IC 2602 (mag 1.9) NGC 2808 (mag 5.7) NGC 3136 (mag 11.0)
Miaplacidus (mag 1.7) NGC 3532 (mag 3.0) NGC 3059 (mag 11.2)
Avior (mag 1.9) NGC 3114 (mag 4.2) NGC 2822 (mag 12.0)
Aspidiske (mag 2.2) IC 2581 (mag 4.3) IC 2554 (mag 13.2)
θ-Car (mag 2.7) NGC 3293 (mag 4.7)
υ-Car (mag 3.0) NGC 3572 (mag 6.6)
ω-Car (mag 3.3) NGC 3324 (mag 6.7)
V337 Car (mag 3.4) NGC 2516 (mag 7.6)
PP Car (mag 3.4) NGC 3496 (mag 8.2)
V357 Car (mag 3.4) NGC 3590 (mag 8.2)
χ-Car (mag 3.4) IC 2714 (mag 8.2)
l Car (mag 3.8) NGC 3603 (mag 9.1)
u-Car (mag 3.8) NGC 3255 (mag 11.0)
c-Car (mag 3.8)
s-Car (mag 3.8)
V382 Car (mag 3.9)
i-Car (mag 3.9)
I-Car (mag 4.0)
h-Car (mag 4.1)
V343 Car (mag 4.3)
g-Car (mag 4.3)
N-Car (mag 4.4)
V415 Car (mag 4.4)
r-Car (mag 4.5)
V344 Car (mag 4.5)




Color scheme