Name a Star in the Carina Constellation

Modified: July 1, 2023     Author: International Star Registry

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This area of the sky was originally part Argo Navis. The original constellation was depicted as a massive ship that sailed on the Milky Way around the southern pole. It is a stunning constellation south of the equator. Carina is most easily spotted by looking for the very bright star Canopus, the second brightest star visible from Earth with a magnitude of -0.74.  This constellation is never visible from North America, Europe, or much of Asia. Carina is the 34th largest constellation in the sky and is located in the second quadrant of the southern hemisphere. If you want to check it out set the latitudes between +20° and -90°. Bordered constellations are Centaurus, Chamaeleon, Musca, Pictor, Puppis, Vela and Volans. 


Symbol: Car 

Right Ascension: 07:32 

Declination: -59 

Diameter (°): 27 

Area (square °): 494 

Opposition: Jan 11 

Size Rank: 34th 

Brightness Rank: 3rd 

Genitive: Carinae 


Major stars in Carina 

Canopus – α Carinae (Alpha Carinae) 

η Carinae (Eta Carinae) 

Miaplacidus – β Carinae (Beta Carinae) 

Avior – ε Carinae (Epsilon Carinae) 

Aspidiske – ι Carinae (Iota Carinae) 

θ Carinae (Theta Carinae) 

υ Carinae (Upsilon Carinae) 

ω Carinae (Omega Carinae) 


Deep sky objects in Carina 


Carina Nebula (Eta Carinae Nebula, NGC 3372) 

Theta Carinae Cluster (Southern Pleiades, IC 2602, Caldwell 102) 

Wishing Well Cluster (NGC 3532) 

NGC 3603 

NGC 2808 

The Diamond Cluster (NGC 2516, Caldwell 96, C96) 

NGC 3293 


Mythology of the Constellation Carina  

Originally, the area of the sky we call Carina was part of a massive constellation known as Argo Navis named for giant ship Argo. It appeared to be sailing along the Milky Way around the southern hemisphere. Because the size of the constellation caused too much confusion, the constellation was split up into several parts. Carina the keel has been designated as a separate constellation from the other parts of the ship which include: Puppis, the stern, Pyxis, the compass, and Vela, the sails. In Greek mythology, the great ship Argo was procured by the goddess Athena and was equipped with a magical oaken prow and the powers of thought and speech. This amazing ship was carried Jason and the Jason and the 50 Argonauts who journeyed to find the Golden Fleece. The names of stars have a long history dating back to Greek mythology and beyond. 

In Egyptian mythology, Argo Navis was the ship of Osiris. Located entirely in the southern hemisphere, as a single constellation Argo Navis is the largest constellation and contains over 800 naked eye stars. Its original star designations by de Lacaille used 180 Greek letters; many repetitions lent to confusion and error. More recent astronomers have separated the original constellation of Argo Navis into four parts of the boat.  Sometimes Malus, the mast, is used to further define Argo Navis, which covers almost 75 degrees of the sky. It is south of Monoceros, Hydra and Sirius (the brightest star in the sky). A few of the most northern stars of Puppis and Pyxis can be seen on the horizon in New York City in early March. Canopus, the second brightest star, is in Carina. 


Q. What is Carina? 

A. Carina is the 34th largest constellation in the sky, occupying an area of 494 square degrees. 

Q. What does Carina represent? 

A. Carina represents the main body of Argo Navis and the star Canopus marks the blade on one of the ship’s steering oars. 

Q. When is the best time to view the Carina constellation? 

A. It is most visible during the springtime in the Southern Hemisphere. This is a good choice when you want to buy a star gift pack in the southern hemisphere. 

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