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Canis Minor

Quick Facts

Name:Canis Minor
KAY-nis MY-ner
Meaning:Lesser Dog
Genitive:Canis Minoris
Visible in Latitudes:85° thru -75°
Viewing Season:Winter
Best Seen In:March, 9:00 pm
Transit Date:January 15
Right Ascension:7.66 hours
Declination:5.9 degrees
Area:183.367 sq. degrees

Star Diagram

Star Diagram: Canis Minor

About Canis Minor

Canis Minor, the Lesser Dog, stands on the back of the unicorn, Monoceros. It is the second of Orion's two hunting dogs. In legend, the dogs were associated with the dogs that tore the unsuspecting Actaeon to pieces when he came upon Artemis, the virgin goddess of the hunt, while she was bathing in a woodland pool.

The dogs are also associated with the Egyptian dog-headed god Anubis, the guide of souls.

Procyon and Gomesia are the two brightest stars in this constellation, Procyon is a Greek word for 'Before the Dog', as Procyon rises before Canis Major, which contains the Dog-Star, Sirius. The Mesopotamians called Procyon 'The Star of the Crossing Water-Dog', as it lies near their River of Heaven, the Milky Way.

Named Stars

ProcyonAlpha CMi
GomeisaBeta CMi

Neighboring Constellations

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