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Canis Minor

Canis Minor
GenitiveCanis Minoris
Meaning in Englishthe Smaller Dog
Right ascension8 h
Visible to latitudeBetween 85° and -75°
Best visibleMarch
 - Total
Ranked 71th
182 sq. deg.
Number of stars with
apparent magnitude < 3
Brightest star

 - Apparent magnitude
Procyon (α Canis
Meteor showers
  • Canis-Minorids
Bordering constellations

Canis Minor (the little 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.

Table of contents
1 Notable features
2 Notable deep sky objects
3 Mythology

Notable features

Canis Minor is a small constellation mainly consisting of two stars, Procyon (α Canis Minoris, 0.38m) and Gomeisa (β Canis Minoris, 2.9m). Procyon is the eighth brightest star in the night sky, and a part of the Winter Triangle. Procyon means "before the dog" in Greek, as it rises before the Dog Star, Sirius, of Canis Major.

Notable deep sky objects

Being such a small constellation, Canis Minor has no deep sky object brighter than 10 Mag.


The star Procyon was so called by the ancient Greeks as it rose before the (great) dog (Canis Major), but Canis Minor did not appear until Roman times as the smaller of Orion's hunting dogs. See also the constellations of Orion and Canis Major.