|Meaning in English||the Greater Dog|
|Right ascension||7 h|
|Visible to latitude||Between 60° and -90°|
380 sq. deg.
|Number of stars with|
apparent magnitude < 3
- Apparent magnitude
|Sirius (α Canis Majoris)|
Canis Major (the big dog) is one of the 88 modern constellations, and was also in Ptolemy's list of 48 constellations. It is said to represent one of the dogs following Orion the hunter (see also the constellations of Orion, Canis Minor, and Canes Venatici.) Canis Major contains Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky, and that star is part of the Winter Triangle.
|Table of contents|
2 Notable deep sky objects
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 is referred to as the Dog Star; its name Sirius means scorching.
Other named stars in Canis Major:
In early classical days, this constellation represented Laelaps, Acteon's hound; or sometimes the hound of Procris, Diana's nymph; or the one given by Aurora to Cephalus, so famed for its speed that Zeus elevated it to the sky. Most commonly, Canis Major (or perhaps just the star Sirius) is Orion's hunting dog, pursuing Lepus the hare or helping Orion fight Taurus the bull, and is referred to in this way by Aratos, Homer and Hesiod. The ancient Greeks refer only to one dog, but by Roman times, Canis Minor appears as Orion's second dog.
See also: Canis Major (dwarf galaxy)