Name a Star in the Canis Minor Constellation

November 15, 2022

International Star Registry

NASA Image of the constellation Canis Minor_International Star Registry

Situated midway between Canis Major and the twins, the Canis Minor (lesser dog) constellation was depicted with an asterism of two stars by Ptolomy.

The brightest of these stars is Procyon, a brilliant white star which is the seventh brightest star in the sky. It has a magnitude of .34 and is best seen in March. The second brightest star is Gomeisa with a magnitude of 2.9.

Canis Minor is a small constellation. It is the 71st largest and it is located in the second quadrant of the northern hemisphere. Canis Minor is visible in the winter and can be seen at latitudes between +90° and -75°. Nearby are Gemini, Hydra, Monoceros, and Cancer constellations.

In Chinese astronomy the shape (asterism) created by Procyon, Gomeisa and Eta Canis Minoris is known as Nánhé, the Southern River

Canis Minor also plays host to a small meteor shower each December called the Canis-Minorids which was discovered in 1964

Symbol: CMi
Right Ascension: 07:39
Declination: 5
Diameter (°): 4
Area (square °): 183
Opposition: Jan 13
Size Rank: 71st
Brightness Rank: 30th
Genitive: Canis Minoris

Major stars in Canis Minor
Procyon – α Canis Minoris (Alpha Canis Minoris)
Gomeisa – β Canis Minoris (Beta Canis Minoris)
γ Canis Minoris (Gamma Canis Minoris)
G Canis Minoris
Luyten’s Star (GJ 273)

Deep sky objects in Canis Minor
Spiral Galaxy NGC 2485
NGC 2538
NGC 2350
NGC 2504
NGC 2470
NGC 2508
NGC 2416
IC 494
IC 498
NGC 2510
NGC 2496
NGC 2511
IC 2231
NGC 2402
NGC 2491
NGC 2433

Mythology of the Constellation Canis Minor

According to Greek fable, the little dog is one of Orion’s hounds. Some credit it as being the Egyptian goddess, Anubis, who was represented as a dog’s head. Some say it’s Diana, the goddess of hunting. Skeptics of those theories say it’s the faithful dog, Maera, which belonged to Icarius. Maera showed Icarius’ daughter, Erigone, where Icarius had been buried. People who don’t believe any of that say it’s one of Actaeon’s hounds which devoured its master after Diana had transformed him into a stag to prevent his betrayal of her.

“This said, the man began to disappear By slow degrees, and ended in a deer. Transformed at length, he flies away in haste, And wonders why he flies so fast. But as by chance, within a neighboring brook, He saw his branching horns, and altered look, Wretched Actaeon! In a doleful tone He tried to speak, but only gave a groan; And as he went, within the watery glass, He saw the big round drops, with silent pace, Run trickling down a savage, hairy face.” - Anonymous

It’s probable that the Egyptians did invent this constellation. Because it always rises a little before the dog star (which they dreaded from season to season), it properly represented to them a watchful animal designed to give due notice that inundation time soon would be at hand. Some say the constellation was thought to represent Anubus, the jackal god of death.

  • Q. What is Canis Minor?

  • A. Canis Minor is a small constellation in the northern sky. It is the 71st largest constellation in the sky, occupying an area of 183 square degrees
  • Q. What is the Winter Hexagon?

  • A. The Winter Hexagon contains parts of the Auriga, Canis Major, Canis Minor, Gemini, Monoceros, Orion, Taurus, Lepus and Eridanus constellations.
  • Q. Does Canis Minor have a bright star?

  • A. It's brightest star, Procyon (Alpha Canis Minoris), is also the seventh brightest star in the sky. Many animal lovers will buy a star package in this constellation if they have a small dog.