| CARINA Chart | Midnight Culmination | Skylore | Description | Asterisms |
| Special Stars | Nebulae | Galaxies | Discussed in these Shows |

Constellation Data

  • Name: CARINA
  • Translation: Keel of the Argonauts' ship
  • Abbreviation: Car
  • Genitive: Carinae
  • Size: 34
  • Regions: Southern
  • RA: 9 hours
  • Decl: -65 degrees
  • Season: Summer
  • Midnight Culmination: 31 January

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?


See the constellation page for Argo.htm">Argo Navis.


Locate Canopus by drawing a line from the easternmost star of Orion's belt down through Rigel, Orion's left foot. Canopus lies about twice as far from Orion's belt as Sirius.

[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.


Between Canopus and Crux are the False Cross (nearer Canopus, shared by Carina and Vela) and the Diamond Cross (nearer Crux, in Carina). These are fainter than Crux and were once part of Argo.htm">Argo Navis.

What is an Asterism?

Special Stars

Canopus is the second brightest nighttime star. Distance: 1200 LY. Magnitude: -0.7. Canopus is 200,000 times brighter than the Sun. Although it appears slightly less bright than Sirius, it is 7,500 times as bright as Sirius. Declination: -52 degrees 42 minutes south. Canopus is visible from Alexandria, Egypt, but not Greece, a fact often cited to show that the Earth is spherical. Canopus was named by Eratosthenes ca. 250 B.C, working in Alexandria. Some people claim to see a trace of yellow in Canopus.

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


In 1843, Eta-Carina was brighter than Canopus! It is a nova-like irregular variable star found within a diffuse interstellar gas cloud known as NGC 3372.

A 3-D photo is available on the Internet from NASA, as described on the north gallery wall inside the planetarium (get your 3-D glasses ready!).

Glowing clouds of gas make this nebula one of the most spectacular sights in the Milky Way. The Eta Carinae nebula is believed to be a stellar nursery, where stars are forming from the obscuring clouds of dust and the luminous gaseous material.

"To whom will you compare me?
Or who is my equal?" says the Holy One.
Lift your eyes and look to the heavens:
Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one
and calls them each by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
not one of them is missing.

Isaiah 40: 25-26

What are Nebulae?
Table of Messier Objects.
What is apparent Magnitude?


Between Canopus and the south pole lies the Large Magellenic Cloud (LMC), located in the constellation Dorado the Swordfish.

What are Galaxies?
Table of Messier Objects.
What is apparent Magnitude?

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.

The source for the logo is not a medieval woodcut!

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