| CANIS MAJOR Chart | Midnight Culmination | Skylore | Description | Asterisms |
| Special Stars | Star Clusters | Discussed in these Shows |

Constellation Data

  • Translation: Big Dog
  • Abbreviation: CMa
  • Genitive: Canis Majoris
  • Size: 43
  • RA: 7 hours
  • Decl: -20 degrees
  • Season: Winter
  • Midnight Culmination: 2 January
  • Pages where CANIS MAJOR is discussed in Chet Raymo's 365 Starry Nights: 3,16,21-30,45

What is the Genitive form?
What is Right Ascension (RA)?
Is this constellation ever visible from my latitude? What is Declination?

Where should I look for a constellation on a date before or after its midnight culmination? What is Midnight Culmination?


One of Orion's two faithful dogs, following him across the sky. Sirius, called Sothis or the Dog Star, was significant in Egyptian mythology, and its heliacal rising signalled the start of the Egyptian year in the third millenium B.C. This constellation has been associated with several mythical dogs, including the hound of Actaeon.


South of Orion in the Winter Hexagon, near the horizon. Sirius is the brightest star in the sky.

[star chart]

Star chart created with Voyager II Software for Macintosh, published by Carina Software. This is just a taste of what Voyager can do! For info on Voyager II software, call Carina Software at (510) 355-1266, write them at 12919 Alcosta Blvd Suite #7, San Ramon, CA 94583, or visit Carina Software's home page and check out Voyager II for yourself.


Winter Hexagon

What is an Asterism?

Special Stars

Sirius, which takes its name from the Greek work for Scorching.

Table of 25 Brightest Stars.
What is apparent stellar magnitude?

Star Clusters

M41 (Galactic cluster), mag. 5.0.

What are Star Clusters?

Discussed in these Shows

[Small Logo] ©1997 Welcome to the Basic Celestial Phenomena web site. To provide explanations of basic observational astronomy to students, teachers, families, and visitors to planetariums these pages have been written by an ex-OBU Planetarium Director, Kerry Magruder; the OBU Natural Sciences Coordinator, Mike Keas; and some of the students who work in the OBU planetarium.

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