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Illustrated Guide to Astronomical Wonders by Barbara Fritchman Thompson, Robert Bruce Thompson

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10Canis Major, The Larger Dog

NAME: Canis Major (CAWN-is MAY-jur)

SEASON: Winter

CULMINATION: midnight, 1 January

ABBREVIATION: CMa

GENITIVE: Canis Majoris (CAWN-is muh-JOR-is)

NEIGHBORS: Col, Lep, Mon, Pup

BINOCULAR OBJECTS: NGC 2287 (M41), NGC 2360

URBAN OBJECTS: none

Canis Major is a mid-size constellation, ranking 43rd in size among the 88 constellations. It covers 380 square degrees of the celestial sphere, or about 0.9%. In mythology, Canis Major is the larger of Orion’s two hunting dogs. Canis Major rests at the feet of Orion, waiting to pounce on Lepus, The Hare.

The eye of Canis Major is Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky, also known as the Dog Star. (The name Sirius comes from the Greek for “searing” or “shining.”) Sirius ...

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