Canis Major

Canis Major is a Southern Hemisphere constellation otherwise known as the Great Dog, and is one of the two dogs following Orion (see also Canis Minor the Lesser Dog). It is one of the 48 Greek constellations originally described by the 2nd century astronomer Claudius Ptolemy (Wikipedia). Canis Major remains one of the 88 modern constellations defined by the International Astronomical Union (Wikipedia).

Canis Major (abbrev. = CMa; genitive = Canis Majoris) covers 380 square degrees or 0.92% of the celestial sphere making it the 43rd largest constellation. It contains 147 stars brighter than apparent magnitude 6.5, the brightest star being Sirius (Alpha Canis Majoris). See the Canis Major Star Chart for a figure illustrating this constellation including the identification of its brighter stars.

For more information see the entries for Canis Major at Wikipedia and U. Wisconsin. For a chart of Canis Major, see CMa (IAU).


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