Canis Minor

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Canis Minor is a small constellation. It was included in the 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy's 48 constellations, and is still included among the 88 modern constellations. Its name is Latin for "smaller dog" in contrast to Canis Major, the larger dog, and it is commonly represented as one of the dogs following the constellation of Orion the hunter.


Notable features

Canis Minor is a small constellation containing only two bright stars, Procyon (α CMi, 0.38m) and Gomeisa (β CMi , 2.9m). Procyon is the eighth brightest star and closest star in the night sky. Procyon means "before the dog" in Greek, as it rises an hour before the 'Dog Star', Sirius, of Canis Major.

Canis Minor has no deep sky object brighter than magnitude 15.

History and mythology

The ancient Greeks did not recognize Canis Minor as a distinct constellation, and considered Orion to have had one dog, Canis Major.[citation needed]

Canis Minor is sometimes connected with the Teumessian Fox, a beast turned into stone with its hunter, Laelaps, by Zeus, who placed them in heaven as Canis Major (Laelaps) and Canis Minor (Teumessian Fox).[1]

In Chinese astronomy, constellation Canis Minor lies in The Vermillion Bird of the South (南方朱雀, Nán Fāng Zhū Què).[2]

See also


External links

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