English Name: The Great Dogs
Hemisphere: Southern Hemisphere
Location: Between the constellations of Aquarius and Sagittarius.
Visible between latitudes: +60 and -90 degrees
Best season: Winter
Seen in three season: Autumn, Winter, and Spring
Best seen in: January
Seen between: October and March
Right Ascension (RA): 07 hour
Declination (DEC): -20 degrees
Area (square degrees): 380 (43th)
Canis Major (The Great dog)
- This constellation is be beautiful to look at the brightest of all stars – Sirius; the brightest star in the night sky!
- Sirius, often called the Dog Star.
- It lies between Monoceros (The Unicorn) and Canis Minor (The Lesser Dog).
- M41 – There is one prominient Open Cluster, magnitude +5.0, south of Sirius.
Features of interest
- NGC2362 – Open Cluster; small and condensed, requiring a small telescope to be seen properly.
NGC4244 – Large edge-on spiral, found eight degrees west of Cor Caroli.
- NGC4485 and NGC4490 – Two splendid galaxies in the same field: NGC4485 is more compact (this one is sometimes called the Cocoon Galaxy), while NGC4490 is larger and brighter. Located less than one degree northwest of beta CVn.
- NGC4631 – Very large and bright, seen edge-on. Found in a rather barren field, six degrees south of Cor Caroli and two degrees west. In the same field are two more galaxies, NGC4656 and NGC4657, just southwest of NGC4631.
- Sirius (Alpha CMa)
- Murzim (Beta CMa)
- Muliphen (Gamma CMa)
- Wezen (Delta CMa)
- Adara (Epsilon CMa)
- Furud (Zeta CMa)
- Aludra (Eta CMa)
- Photo of the constellation – Canis Major, as it appears to the naked-eye. (Lines have been added for clarity.)
- Sky Chart – Canis Major
- List of stars in Auriga.
Back to The 88 Constellations Lists page.