Constellation Columba (Dove)

Columba: IAU Constellation Map [150]


The constellation is south of Orion, separated by Lepus. It is a rather inconspicuous constellation, the most striking feature of which is a wavy line of six stars that runs from east to west. The constellation covers 270 square degrees of the sky and culminates around midnight on December 17th. [9, 15]

Stars with Proper Names [154]
α Col Phaet, Phakt, Phact, Phad
β Col Wezn, Wazn
Data for constellation Columba [150]
IAU NameColumba
IAU GenitiveColumbae
IAU Abbr.Col
English NameDove
Opposition18 December
Season (47° N)November … February
Right Ascension05h 03m 54s … 06h 39m 37s
Declination-43° 06' 42" … -27° 04' 38"
Area270 deg2
Neighbours (N↻)Lep, Cae, Pic, Pup, CMa

Deep-Sky Object Descriptions


Mythology and History

Columba is a constellation related to Argo Navis (today divided into Carina, Vela, Puppis, Pyxis). Some see it as the dove that showed the Argonauts the way between deadly rocks at the entrance to the Black Sea, others see it as Noah's dove, which Noah sent out after the flood to look for land.

The constellation was introduced by Johann Bayer in his Uranometria from 1603 and taken into an official list by the French Augustin Royer in 1679. [7]


  • [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
  • [15] «Hartung's Astronomical Objects for Southern Telescopes» by David Malin and David J. Frew; Melbourne University Press 1995; ISBN 0-522-84553-3
  • [150] IAU: The Constellations, 11. Oktober 2020;
  • [154] Yale Bright Star Catalog, 15. Oktober 2020;