Canis Major

One of the principal winter constellations is that of Canis Major, the greater dog. It is another constellation shrouded in antiquity, probably being recognized as a hunting dog firstly by the Babylonians, then by the great empire of Egypt as far back as 3500 B.C. The Greeks considered this constellation and its companion Canis Minor to be the hunting dogs of Orion the hunter, as they lie adjacent to the majestic figure of this constellation in the sky. Aratus records the constellation as being the hound Laelaps, the hunting dog of Acteon given to him by the goddess Aurora and placed in the sky by Zeus who was impressed at his speed and agility.

Notable Objects

Sirius, the brightest star visible in the sky. Messier 41, a star cluster just visible to the naked eye under dark skies. NGC 2362, sometimes called the “Northern Jewel Box” surrounding the star Tau Canis Majoris