The Constellation Dorado

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

Dorado is a small and not particularly conspicuous constellation in the southern sky, visible in the evening sky in the months around November.

Its brightest stars are of third magnitude, but it is better known for its rich offering of deep sky objects than for its stars.

The Milky Way's dwarf satellite galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud, falls mostly within Dorado, with the remainder lying in Mensa. Numerous open star cluster are visible within this part of the sky, as well as a swarm of globular clusters.

Behind the Large Magellanic Cloud, a number of more distant galaxies are also visible, including the bright face-on spiral galaxy NGC 1566.

Dorado is among the dozen constellations introduced by Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser and Frederick de Houtman which celebrate rare or exotic animals, and it first appeared on star maps in 1598. It is usually identified as a goldfish, but has also been depicted as a swordfish.

Date First Appeared
1598 (Keyser & de Houtman)
Sky Area
0.4% of the sky
179.2 square degrees
Messier Objects
Dorado contains no Messier objects
Caldwell Objects
Dorado contains the following Caldwell object: C103.
Neighbors
The following constellations neighbor Dorado: Caelum, Horologium, Hydrus, Mensa, Pictor, Reticulum, Volans.
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Brightest Objects in Dorado

Stars Open Clusters Globular Clusters Galaxies
Stars Open Clusters Globular Clusters Galaxies
α-Dor (mag 3.3) NGC 1820 (mag 9.0) NGC 1835 (mag 9.8) NGC 1566 (mag 9.4)
β-Dor (mag 3.8) NGC 1850 (mag 9.3) NGC 1978 (mag 9.9) NGC 1553 (mag 9.5)
γ-Dor (mag 4.3) NGC 2100 (mag 9.6) NGC 1786 (mag 10.1) NGC 1549 (mag 9.9)
δ-Dor (mag 4.3) NGC 1866 (mag 9.8) NGC 2210 (mag 10.2) NGC 1617 (mag 10.4)
36-Dor (mag 4.6) NGC 1818 (mag 9.8) NGC 1846 (mag 11.0) NGC 1947 (mag 10.8)
ζ-Dor (mag 4.7) NGC 2004 (mag 9.8) NGC 1783 (mag 11.0) NGC 1533 (mag 10.9)
θ-Dor (mag 4.8) NGC 1755 (mag 9.9) NGC 1806 (mag 11.0) NGC 1596 (mag 11.0)
ν-Dor (mag 5.0) NGC 2157 (mag 10.0) NGC 1898 (mag 11.0) NGC 1672 (mag 11.0)
η²-Dor (mag 5.0) NGC 2041 (mag 10.0) NGC 1644 (mag 13.0) NGC 1515 (mag 11.0)
ε-Dor (mag 5.1) NGC 2164 (mag 10.0) NGC 2257 (mag 13.5) NGC 1546 (mag 11.6)
λ-Dor (mag 5.1) NGC 1854 (mag 10.0) NGC 2154 NGC 1688 (mag 12.0)
WZ Dor (mag 5.2) NGC 1951 (mag 10.0) NGC 2193 IC 2082 (mag 12.8)
κ-Dor (mag 5.3) NGC 1774 (mag 10.0) NGC 2249 NGC 1796 (mag 13.0)
28-Dor (mag 5.3) NGC 1805 (mag 10.0) NGC 1652 NGC 2082 (mag 13.0)
π²-Dor (mag 5.4) NGC 1856 (mag 10.0) NGC 1795 IC 2050
π¹-Dor (mag 5.6) NGC 2136 (mag 10.0) NGC 1917 IC 2070
η¹-Dor (mag 5.7) NGC 2214 (mag 11.0) NGC 2108 NGC 1669
R Dor (mag 5.7) NGC 1831 (mag 11.0) NGC 2155 IC 2081
XY Dor (mag 6.5) NGC 1903 (mag 12.0) NGC 1868 NGC 1703
HD NGC 1863 NGC 1953 IC 2085
NGC 1972 NGC 2120 NGC 1771
NGC 2137 NGC 2162 NGC 1824
NGC 2002 NGC 2231 NGC 2187
NGC 2151 NGC 2230
NGC 1768 NGC 1506

Ashburn

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

39.04°N
77.49°W
EST

Color scheme