Constellation Canis Minor (Lesser Dog)

Canis Minor
Canis Minor: IAU Constellation Map [150]

Properties

Canis Minor doesn't look like much as a constellation. It is relatively small at 183 square degrees and is located east of Orion, about the same height as its left shoulder star Betelgeuse. With the naked eye, however, only the two brightest stars Procyon and Gomeisa are striking in Canis Minor. The star Procyon forms together with Castor (α Geminorum), Pollux (β Geminorum), Capella (α Aurigae), Aldebaran (α Tauri), Rigel (β Orionis) and Sirius (α Canis Majoris) the winter hexagon. The center of the constellation culminates at midnight on around August 5th.[9, 15]

Stars with Proper Names:

  • α CMi: Procyon, Elgomaisa, Algomeysa, Antecanis
  • β CMi: Gomeisa, Algomeyla, Gomelza
Data for constellation Canis Minor [150]
IAU NameCanis Minor
IAU GenitiveCanis Minoris
IAU Abbr.CMi
English NameLesser Dog
Season (47° N)October … April
Right Ascension07h 06m 39s … 08h 11m 41s
Declination+00° 22' 10" … +13° 13' 26"
Area183 deg2
Neighbours (N↻)Gem, Mon, Hya, Cnc

Deep-Sky Object Descriptions

Mythology and History

The Greeks in ancient Greece thought Canis Minor was the smaller of the two dogs that followed the hunter Orion. According to another legend, the two dogs should belong to Diana, the goddess of the hunt or the woman of legendary beauty, Helen of Troy. [78]

Another story tells of the Erigone's dog. She was the daughter of a simple Athenian farmer named Ikarios. Dionysus, the Greek god of fertility, wine and intoxication, had taught Ikarios how to press wine. Ikarios offered a sample of his art to a group of shepherds who, uncontrollably, drank the wine undiluted in large quantities until they thought they were enchanted because they saw some things twice. In their intoxication, they killed Ikarios because they thought he had poisoned them. After they had slept off their intoxication, they buried him under a fir tree and carefully covered all traces so that their deed would not be known. Ikarios' daughter Erigone did not know where her father was until her dog Maria dragged her by a corner of her robe to the place where her father had been buried by the murderers. Erigone was desperate and hanged herself from the Christmas tree that stood by her father's grave. The Delphic Oracle solved the crime and the guilty shepherds were punished. The dog Maria (Canis Minor) was transferred to heaven, Ikarios was turned into a boat (ox driver) who drives his winery (big wagon) and Erigone dies as a virgin.

The Greek name for this constellation was transcribed by the Romans to Procyon. This name means that the constellation - at least in northern latitudes - rises earlier in the east than the Big Dog. Cicero called it Antecanis, the constellation was also called Antecedens Canis, Antecursor, Praecanis, Procanis, Catellus (puppy), Icarium Astrum, Erigonius and Canis virgineus. After the Christianization of heaven, the little dog started wool and always bleated as an Easter lamb on Easter. [20]

Catalogs

Yale Bright Star Catalogue, 5th Revised Ed. (Hoffleit+, 1991) [154]
HR B F RA [hms] Dec [dms] vMag spType dMag Sep ["]
2820107 24 58.2+11 40 115.30 A5IV
2828ε207 25 38.9+09 16 344.99 G6.5IIb
2845β307 27 09.0+08 17 222.90 B8Ve 7.8138.7
2851η507 28 02.1+06 56 315.25 F0III 5.24.0
2854γ407 28 09.8+08 55 324.32 K3-IIIFe-0.5 5.9130.
2864607 29 47.8+12 00 244.54 K1+IIIBa0.4
2880δ1707 32 05.9+01 54 525.25 F0III
2887δ2807 33 11.6+03 17 255.59 F2V
2901δ3907 34 15.8+03 22 175.81 A0Vnn 5.290.0
2943α1007 39 18.1+05 13 300.38 F5IV-V 10.44.6
30081107 46 16.2+10 46 065.30 A1Vnn
3059ζ1307 51 42.0+01 46 015.14 B8II
31101407 58 20.6+02 13 295.29 K0III 3.088.6

Revised+Historic NGC/IC, Version 22/9, © Dr. Wolfgang Steinicke [277]
Open Clusters
NameRADecTypebMagvMagDimDreyer DescriptionIdentification, Remarks
NGC 245907 52 01.7+09 33 29OCL1.5vF, S, rr group + neb
Galaxies
NameRADecTypebMagvMagDimDreyer DescriptionIdentification, Remarks
NGC 235007 13 12.1+12 15 59S0-a13.312.31.4 × 0.7eF, eS, iRUGC 3747, MCG 2-19-1, CGCG 57-5, IRAS 07104+1221
NGC 2402 107 30 46.5+09 38 51E?14.913.90.8 × 0.8eF, S, R, lbM, * invUGC 3891, MCG 2-19-4, CGCG 57-15
NGC 2402 207 30 47.8+09 39 14S16.015.20.7 × 0.5eF, S, R, lbM, * invUGC 3891, MCG 2-19-4, CGCG 57-15
NGC 241607 35 41.4+11 36 45Sc14.113.41 × 0.7eF, SUGC 3925, MCG 2-20-2, CGCG 58-8, IRAS 07329+1143
NGC 247007 54 20.4+04 27 36Sab13.612.72 × 0.6eF, S, lE, bet 2 stUGC 4091, MCG 1-20-9, CGCG 30-29, IRAS 07517+0435
NGC 248507 56 48.7+07 28 39Sa13.112.21.6 × 1.4Neb * 12 mUGC 4112, MCG 1-21-1, CGCG 31-3, IRAS 07541+0736
NGC 249107 58 27.3+07 59 04S15.614.80.3 × 0.2eeF, pS, irrR, v diffic, B * pCGCG 31-7, NPM1G +08.0123
NGC 249607 58 37.4+08 01 41E213.912.91.1 × 0.9vF, pS, R, lbM, * close fUGC 4127, MCG 1-21-2, CGCG 31-9
NGC 249907 58 51.7+07 29 34SB?14.814.00.8 × 0.5eF, pS, iRMCG 1-21-3, CGCG 31-11
NGC 250407 59 52.2+05 36 28P14.313.30.5 × 0.4vF, S, RUGC 4152, MCG 1-21-4, CGCG 31-15, IRAS 07572+0544
NGC 250808 01 57.1+08 33 07E213.712.71.4 × 1.1F, vS, vlE, 2 st pUGC 4174, MCG 2-21-4, CGCG 59-18
NGC 251008 02 10.5+09 29 10S014.413.41 × 0.7γ in Lord Rosse's diagramUGC 4178, MCG 2-21-7, CGCG 59-23
NGC 251108 02 15.0+09 23 43S15.014.20.9 × 0.3eF, III 512 nf, (= β)MCG 2-21-8, MK 1207, CGCG 59-24
NGC 253808 11 23.0+03 37 59SBa13.512.61.5 × 1.2vF, vS, R, mbMUGC 4266, MCG 1-21-19, CGCG 31-67, IRAS 08087+0347
IC 49408 06 24.3+01 02 12S014.113.11.3 × 0.6vF, pS, bMUGC 4224, MCG 0-21-4, CGCG 3-10
IC 49808 09 30.3+05 16 50S14.613.80.9 × 0.8F, pS, RUGC 4255, MCG 1-21-15, CGCG 31-59, VV 526
IC 223108 11 01.4+05 05 15E015.014.01 × 1F, vS, R, dif, * 14 attUGC 4265, MCG 1-21-18, CGCG 31-66

References

9«Drehbare Sternkarte SIRIUS» von H. Suter-Haug; Hallwag-Verlag, Bern
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)
78The Starry Sky: Canis Minor by Deborah Byrd; Astronomy 2/95, p.63
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)