Name a Star in the Canis Minor Constellation

Modified: July 1, 2023     Author: International Star Registry

International Star registry 45th anniversary logo surrounded by stars.

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 .

A number of famous people have stars named after them in the Canis Minor constellation, including: Drew Carey, and Ronnie James Dio. Click here for more information.

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. 

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