Constellation Canis Maior (Great Dog)

Canis Maior
Canis Maior: IAU Constellation Map [150]

Properties

Canis Maior is a typical winter constellation and is located southeast of Orion. The constellation is very noticeable as it contains the brightest fixed star in the firmament, Sirius. If you extend Orion's belt to the southeast, you come across it directly.

The star Sirius forms the winter hexagon together with Procyon, Castor and Pollux, Capella, Aldebaran and Rigel. The area of Canis Maior is 380 square degrees and it culminates at midnight on around January 1st.[9, 15]

Stars with Proper Names:

  • α CMa: Sirius, Canicula, Dog Star, Aschere
  • β CMa: Murzim, Mirzam, Mirza
  • γ CMa: Muliphen, Muliphein, Isis, Mirza
  • δ CMa: Wezen, Alwazn, Wesen, Al Wazor
  • ε CMa: Adara, Adhara
  • ζ CMa: Furud, Phurud
  • η CMa: Aludra
Data for constellation Canis Maior [150]
IAU NameCanis Maior
IAU GenitiveCanis Majoris
IAU Abbr.CMa
English NameGreat Dog
Season (47° N)November … February
Right Ascension06h 11m 36s … 07h 27m 54s
Declination-33° 15' 02" … -11° 01' 49"
Area380 deg2
Neighbours (N↻)Mon, Lep, Col, Pup

Deep-Sky Object Descriptions

Mythology and History

Canis Maior is an ancient constellation that depicts one of the dogs that follow on on the heels of the sky hunter Orion. The other dog is Canis Minor. [7, 10, 20, 21, 25]

Another, somewhat questionable interpretation is that of the hellhound Kerberos: Echidne and Typhon were the parents of Kerberos. Half of Echidne's body was a beautiful woman, the other half a stained, disgusting snake; she lived in a deep cave and ate only sweet human flesh. Typhon was the worst monster you can imagine; his legs were writhing snakes, his arms had snakeheads in place of his hands, a hideous donkey's head was his head, and smoking lava erupted from his mouth when he opened it. Echidne and Typhon fathered several children, including Kerberos, who inherited some of his parents' physical characteristics. Mostly he is described as three-headed and several stitches depict him in a realistic way. Snakeheads grew out of his back and his prickly tail, which he could whip and move, was a dangerous weapon. This Kerberos lived in the underworld and his job was to devour anyone who tried to escape from the underworld and not to let any living mortal enter the underworld. But Heracles succeeded - this was his twelfth task which Eurysteus entrusted to him - to tie Kerberus with diamond-hard chains and to pull him out of the underworld. The beast barked wildly as soon as it was brought into daylight, and disgusting drool spurted out of all its mouths on meadows and fields, and a poisonous plant - it was the blue monkshood - grew from every drop of the contaminated saliva. The world was glad when Hercules brought this beast back to Hades. [20]

The constellation was named Canis, Canis Syrius (after its main star Sirius) and Canis Australior (because of its location south of the celestial equator), but also Kerberos and Ianitor Lethaeus (doorkeeper of the underworld). An attempt was made to give this constellation a biblical interpretation, but it never caught on. The hunting dog of Orion or the bloodthirsty Kerberos was reinterpreted as the tame dog of Tobias or completely as Saint David. [20]

Catalogs

Yale Bright Star Catalogue, 5th Revised Ed. (Hoffleit+, 1991) [154]
HR B F RA [hms] Dec [dms] vMag spType dMag Sep ["]
2282ζ106 20 18.8-30 03 483.02 B2.5V 4.6175.5
2294β206 22 42.0-17 57 211.98 B1II-III 7.8185.9
2361λ06 28 10.1-32 34 484.48 B4V
2387ξ1406 31 51.3-23 25 064.33 B0.5IV 9.624.6
2414ξ2506 35 03.4-22 57 534.54 A0V
2423ν1606 36 22.8-18 39 365.70 G8III+F3IV-V 1.917.4
2429ν2706 36 41.0-19 15 213.95 K1III
2443ν3806 37 53.4-18 14 154.43 K1-II-III
2491α906 45 08.9-16 42 58-1.46 A1Vm 10.311.2
24921006 44 28.4-31 04 145.20 B2IIIe v5.436.3
25041106 46 51.1-14 25 335.29 B9III
25091206 47 01.5-21 00 566.08 B7IIIn
2538κ1306 49 50.5-32 30 313.96 B1.5IVne v
25711506 53 32.9-20 13 274.83 B1IV
2574θ1406 54 11.4-12 02 194.07 K4III
2580ο11606 54 07.9-24 11 023.87 K2+Iab
25881706 55 02.7-20 24 175.74 A3IV 3.250.5
2590π1906 55 37.4-20 08 114.68 gF2 5.011.6
2593μ1806 56 06.6-14 02 375.00 G5III+A2 2.52.8
2596ι2006 56 08.2-17 03 154.37 B3II
2618ε2106 58 37.5-28 58 201.50 B2II 6.47.5
2646σ2207 01 43.1-27 56 053.47 K7Ib e10.510.0
2653ο22407 03 01.5-23 50 003.02 B3Iab v
2657γ2307 03 45.5-15 38 004.12 B8II
2693δ2507 08 23.5-26 23 361.84 F8Ia
27182607 12 12.2-25 56 335.92 B2V
27452707 14 15.2-26 21 094.66 B3IIIe 0.00.1
2749ω2807 14 48.7-26 46 223.85 B2IV-Ve v
27812907 18 40.3-24 33 324.98 O7Ia:fp v
2782τ3007 18 42.4-24 57 154.40 O9Ib 0.00.2
2827η3107 24 05.7-29 18 112.45 B5Ia 4.5178.7

Revised+Historic NGC/IC, Version 22/9, © Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke [277]
Planetary Nebulae
NameRADecTypebMagvMagDimDreyer DescriptionIdentification, Remarks
IC 216506 21 42.7-12 59 12PN12.910.50.47Planetary, stellarPK 221-12.1, CS=13.7
Galactic Nebulae
NameRADecTypebMagvMagDimDreyer DescriptionIdentification, Remarks
NGC 229606 48 39.0-16 54 04RN13.03 × 2.4vF, vS, RIC 452, MCG -3-18-3, IRAS 06464-1650, CGMW 1-397, Molecular cloud
NGC 232707 04 07.2-11 18 51RN1 × 1pB ** inv in S, vF, nebCED 89B
NGC 235907 18 30.0-13 15 50EN11.56 × 4!!, vF, vvL, viFLBN 1041
NGC 236107 18 23.7-13 12 32ENvvF, vSpart of N 2359
Open Clusters
NameRADecTypebMagvMagDimDreyer DescriptionIdentification, Remarks
NGC 220406 15 33.0-18 39 54III3m8.610Cl, L, pRi, lCOCL 572, ESO 556-SC7
NGC 224306 29 34.4-31 16 53I2r9.48.3pB, cL, R, vglbM, 4'OCL 644, ESO 426-SC16
NGC 228706 46 00.0-20 45 24II3m4.539Cl, vL, B, lC, st 8…M 41, OCL 597, ESO 557-SC14
NGC 231806 59 27.0-13 41 52OCLCl, L, sc, st 8…9*Grp ?
NGC 234507 08 18.7-13 11 37I3m7.712Cl, pL, pRi, gbM, st 10…14OCL 575
NGC 235407 14 10.0-25 41 24III2m6.518Cl, cRi, lCOCL 639, ESO 492-SC6
NGC 235807 16 56.3-17 07 00OCL8Cl, P, lC
NGC 236007 17 43.1-15 38 29II2m7.214Cl, vL, Ri, pC, st 9…12OCL 589
NGC 236207 18 41.4-24 57 15I3p3.86Cl, pL, Ri (30 Can maj)OCL 633, ESO 492-SC9
NGC 236707 20 06.0-21 52 54IV3p7.95Cl, S, P, lCOCL 621, ESO 559-SC5
NGC 237407 23 56.0-13 15 48II3p8.012Cl, vL, pRi, lC, st LOCL 585
NGC 238307 24 39.9-20 56 51I3m8.45Cl, pS, pmC, st 12OCL 616, ESO 559-SC8, near N 2384
NGC 238407 25 10.0-21 01 18IV3p7.45Cl, lC, bifid, **OCL 618, ESO 559-SC9, near N 2383
Galaxies
NameRADecTypebMagvMagDimDreyer DescriptionIdentification, Remarks
NGC 220606 15 59.7-26 45 55SBbc12.912.22.4 × 1.3F, pS, vlE, pslbMESO 489-26, MCG -4-15-19, UGCA 123, AM 0614-264, IRAS 06140-2644
NGC 220706 16 21.8-21 22 22SBbc/P11.710.93.9 × 2.2pB, pL, mE 87°, pslbMRNESO 556-8, MCG -4-15-20, UGCA 124, IRAS 06142-2121
NGC 221106 18 30.2-18 32 16SB013.712.71.4 × 0.7vF, pS, E 45°, bMNESO 556-13, MCG -3-16-21
NGC 221206 18 35.7-18 31 12SB0-a14.313.41.5 × 0.8eF, vS, R, in field with lastESO 556-14, MCG -3-16-22
NGC 221606 21 30.7-22 05 14SBab13.612.81.4 × 1.1vF, pL, R, vglbMESO 556-17, MCG -4-15-27, IRAS 06194-2203
NGC 221706 21 39.8-27 14 03SB0-a11.710.74.7 × 4.3vB, S, R, psmbM, rESO 489-42, MCG -5-15-10, AM 0619-271, IRAS 06196-2712
NGC 222306 24 35.8-22 50 19SBb12.311.53 × 2.6F, pL, R, vglbM, 2 st invESO 489-49, MCG -4-16-2, UGCA 129, AM 0622-224, IRAS 06224-2248
NGC 222706 25 57.9-22 00 17SBc13.212.52.1 × 1.2eF, R, ** p 270°, 90"ESO 556-23, MCG -4-16-4, IRAS 06238-2158
NGC 226306 38 28.8-24 50 55SBab12.711.92.6 × 2pF, lE, bet 2 vS st, pslbMESO 490-19, MCG -4-16-14, IRAS 06364-2448
NGC 226706 40 51.7-32 28 56SB013.512.51.7 × 1.3pB, S, R, 2 or 3 st v nrESO 426-29, MCG -5-16-15, AM 0638-322
NGC 227106 42 52.9-23 28 33E/SB013.112.12.1 × 1.4pF, S, R, gbM, am stESO 490-34, MCG -4-16-17
NGC 227206 42 41.2-27 27 35E/SB012.511.52.4 × 1.6pF, pS, vlE, bM, rESO 490-33, MCG -5-16-17
NGC 228006 44 48.9-27 38 20Sc10.910.36.3 × 3pF, pL, lE, gbMESO 427-2, MCG -5-16-20, UGCA 131, AM 0642-273, IRAS 06428-2735
NGC 228306 45 52.6-18 12 37SBc12.211.53.6 × 2.73 or 4 S st + nebESO 557-13, MCG -3-18-2, IRAS 06436-1809, CGMW 1-369
NGC 229206 47 39.4-26 44 47SB012.011.04 × 3.5eF, R, gbM, D neb, am stESO 490-48, MCG -4-16-22, VV 178, AM 0645-264, CGMW 2-41
NGC 229306 47 42.8-26 45 17SB0-a12.311.24 × 3.2pB, R, gbM, D neb, am stESO 490-49, MCG -4-16-23, VV 178, AM 0645-264, CGMW 2-42
NGC 229506 47 23.2-26 44 10Sab13.312.52.1 × 0.6eF, S, R, bet st, D neb pESO 490-47, MCG -4-16-21, VV 178, CGMW 2-34
NGC 232507 02 40.2-28 41 52E412.311.33 × 1.5pB, pL, lE, gbMESO 427-28, MCG -5-17-5
NGC 238207 23 54.5-27 31 43SB012.311.22.1 × 2pF, S, R, bMNGC 2380, ESO 492-12, MCG -5-18-5, CGMW 2-842
IC 45607 00 17.4-30 09 47SB012.911.92.1 × 1.3vF, pS, R, B st nf and npESO 427-24, MCG -5-17-2
IC 216306 16 28.0-21 22 35SBc12.411.73 × 1.2eF, pS,h 3032 p 7sESO 556-9, MCG -4-15-21, UGCA 125

References

7«Der grosse Kosmos-Himmelsführer» von Ian Ridpath und Wil Tirion; Kosmos Verlag; ISBN 3-440-05787-9
9«Drehbare Sternkarte SIRIUS» von H. Suter-Haug; Hallwag-Verlag, Bern
10«dtv-Atlas zur Astronomie» von Joachim Herrmann; Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag; ISBN 3-423-03006-2
15«Hartung's Astronomical Objects for Southern Telescopes» by David Malin and David J. Frew; Melbourne University Press 1995; ISBN 0-522-84553-3
20«Sternbilder und ihre Mythen» von Gerhard Fasching; Zweite, verbesserte Auflage; Springer Verlag Wien, New York; ISBN 3-211-82552-5 (Wien); ISBN 0-387-82552-5 (New York)
21«Taschenatlas der Sternbilder» von Josef Klepesta und Antonin Rükl; Verlag Werner Dausien; ISBN 3-7684-2384-0
25«Das Taschenbuch vom Sternenhimmel» von Peter von Eynern; Wilhelm Heyne Verlag, München, 1972
150IAU: The Constellations, 11. Oktober 2020; iau.org/public/themes/constellations
154Yale Bright Star Catalog, 15. Oktober 2020; tdc-www.harvard.edu/catalogs/bsc5.html
277«Historische Deep-Sky Kataloge» von Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke; klima-luft.de/steinicke (2021-02-17)