Constellation guide to the 88 official constellations which divide up the sky. These constellations are used to help navigate the celestial sphere. The Constellations are patterns in the sky which have been to invented and have deep mythology behind them. Constellations cover massive areas in the sky and as such are very easy to find.
- Tips for Getting Started in Astronomy
- Dark Eye Adaption - How We See In the Dark
- Light Pollution
- Using Star Charts and Measuring Distance
- Constellation Guide
- Binocular Astronomy
- Moon Watching - How to Observe the Moon
- Buying Your First Telescope
- Your First Night With Your First Telescope
- Sky Orientation through a Telescope
- Polar Alignment of an Equatorial Telescope Mount
- Useful Astronomy Filters for Astrophotography
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The Big Dog
Canis Major is one of the 88 modern constellations, and was also in Ptolemy's list of 48 constellations.
Canis Major's alpha star Sirius is the brightest star besides the Sun as seen from Earth. It is also one of the nearest. The star's name means scorching, since the summer heat occurred just after Sirius' helical rising. The Ancient Greeks referred to such times in the summer as dog days, as only dogs would be mad enough to go out in the heat, leading to the star being known as the Dog Star. Consequently, the constellation was named after it, as a Big Dog.
Canis Major Mythology
It is said to represent one of the dogs following Orion the hunter. Canis Major contains Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky, and that star is part of the Winter Triangle.
Notable Objects in Canis Major
The only Messier object is M41 (NGC 2287), an open cluster with a combined visual magnitude of 4.5.
Photos of Canis Major
I have no photos of Canis Major yet.
Northern Circumpolar Constellations
These constellations can be viewed all year round in the Northern hemisphere as they move in a counterclockwise direction around the north celestial pole without setting or dipping below the horizon.
Northern Spring Constellations
These Northern constellations are best viewed around the spring months. The rest of the year the constellation will not rise during the night.
Northern Autumn Constellations
These Northern constellations are best viewed around the autumn months. The rest of the year the constellation will not rise during the night.
Last updated on: Wednesday 24th January 2018
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