The Constellation Columba

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

Columba is among the dozen constellations introduced by Petrus Plancius which celebrate animals, in this case a dove. Specifically, it is identified as the dove released by Noah in the Biblical flood story to search for dry land.

It lies just behind the stern of the ship Argo Navis, which Plancius reinterpreted to be Noah's Ark.

It can be found in the southern sky in the months around December, but is a faint constellation containing only two stars brighter than fourth magnitude.

It contains only one bright deep sky object, the globular cluster NGC 1851, which is designated C73 in the Caldwell catalogue.

Date First Appeared
1592 (Plancius)
Sky Area
0.7% of the sky
270.2 square degrees
Messier Objects
Columba contains no Messier objects
Caldwell Objects
Columba contains the following Caldwell object: C73.
The following constellations neighbor Columba: Caelum, Canis Major, Lepus, Pictor, Puppis.
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Brightest Objects in Columba

Stars Open Clusters Globular Clusters Galaxies
Stars Open Clusters Globular Clusters Galaxies
Phact (mag 2.7) NGC 1851 (mag 7.2) NGC 1808 (mag 9.9)
Wazn (mag 3.1) NGC 1792 (mag 10.2)
δ-Col (mag 3.8) NGC 2090 (mag 11.2)
ε-Col (mag 3.9) NGC 2188 (mag 11.8)
η-Col (mag 3.9) NGC 1800 (mag 12.7)
γ-Col (mag 4.3)
κ-Col (mag 4.4)
O-Col (mag 4.8)
λ-Col (mag 4.9)
ξ-Col (mag 5.0)
θ-Col (mag 5.0)
μ-Col (mag 5.1)
HD 46568 (mag 5.3)
HD 38170 (mag 5.3)
ν²-Col (mag 5.3)
HD 46815 (mag 5.4)
HD 37811 (mag 5.4)
HD 36848 (mag 5.5)
π²-Col (mag 5.5)
HD 44506 (mag 5.5)
σ-Col (mag 5.5)
HD 43899 (mag 5.5)
HD 41047 (mag 5.5)
HD 36187 (mag 5.6)
HD 40091 (mag 5.6)




Color scheme