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Canis Major

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Canis Major
Canis Major
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List of stars in Canis Major
Abbreviation: CMa
Genitive: Canis Majoris
Right ascension: 7 h
Declination: −20°
Area: 380 sq. deg. (43rd)
Main stars: 8
Bayer/Flamsteed stars: 32
Stars known to have planets: 6
Bright stars: 5
Nearby stars: 1
Brightest star: Sirius (α CMa) (−1.46m)
Nearest star: Sirius (α CMa) ( ly)
Messier objects: 1
Meteor showers: None
Bordering constellations:
Visible at latitudes between +60° and −90°
Best visible at 21:00 (9 p.m.) during the month of February
Map of the constellation

Canis Major is a constellation that is in the southern sky. It means "greater dog" in Latin (also called large dog). There is also the constellation Canis Minor, which means "lesser dog" in Latin. The astronomer named Ptolemy listed Canis Major when he made a list of 48 constellations. It is also one of the 88 modern constellations that were made by the International Astronomical Union.[1]

The star Sirius is in Canis Major. Sirius has a magnitude of -1.44, which means that it is the brightest star in the night sky. It is sometimes called the "dog star." Also, Sirius is only 8.6 light years away from Earth, which is very close.[2]


  1. Ridpath, Ian. "Chapter One Continued". Star Tales. Retrieved 31 Jan 2013. 
  2. Kaler, Jim (26 Sept 2009). "Sirius (Alpha Canis Majoris)". Stars. Retrieved 31 Jan 2013.