Canis Minor

constellation straddling the celestial equator

Canis Minor is a constellation in the northern sky. It is Latin for "smaller dog" or "the lesser dog". The astronomer Ptolemy listed it when he made a list of 48 constellations in the 2nd century. Both Canis Minor and Canis Major (which means "larger dog" in Latin) represent dogs that follow the hunter named Orion in Greek Mythology.[1]

Canis Minor
Canis Minor
GenitiveCanis Minoris
Pronunciation/ˌknɪs ˈmnər/, genitive /ˈknɪs mɪˈnɒrɪs/
Symbolismthe lesser Dog
Right ascension8
Area183 sq. deg. (71st)
Main stars2
Stars with planets1
Stars brighter than 3.00m2
Stars within 10.00 pc (32.62 ly)4
Brightest starProcyon (α CMi) (0.34m)
Messier objects0
Meteor showersCanis-Minorids
Visible at latitudes between +90° and −75°.
Best visible at 21:00 (9 p.m.) during the month of March.
Canis Minor Constellation chart

The main shape of Canis Minor is made by two stars, which are named Procyon (Alpha Canis Minoris) and Gomeisa (Beta Canis Minoris).[2] These stars are the only stars in Canis Minor that have a magnitude that is brigher than 4.[3] Procyon has a magnitude of 0.39, which means that it is the seventh brightest star in the night sky.[a] It is also very close to Earth, since it is only 11.4 light years away.[3] Procyon is a binary star, which means that it actually has two stars that orbit each other. It has a white dwarf star and a white type F5 main-sequence star.[4] Gomeisa has a magnitude of 2.9.[5] Its temperature is 11,500°K, which means that it is very hot. It is a blue type B8 main-sequence star. It is 3 times the mass of the sun and 250 times more luminous than the sun.

Notes change

  1. If the magnitudes of binary stars are combined, then Procyon is the eighth brightest star in the night sky.

References change

  1. Ridpath, Ian. "Canis Minor: The Lesser Dog". Star Tales. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  2. Kaler, Jim. "Canis Minor". Stars. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Procyon (HIP 37279)". Ashland Astronomy Studio. Archived from the original on 6 September 2013. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
  4. Kaler, Jim. "Pyrocyon". Stars. Retrieved 28 January 2013.
  5. Kaler, Jim. "Gomeisa". Stars. Retrieved 28 January 2013.