International Star Registry

All Constellations

Canis Minor - Small Dog

Represented by a dog situated midway between Canis Major and the twins.

Procyon, a brilliant white star, is the eighth brightest star in the sky. It has a magnitude of .3 and is best seen in March.

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.

Transform’d at length, he flies away in haste,

And wonders why he flies so fast.

But as by chance, within a neighb’ring brook,

He saw his branching horns, and alter’d 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.
Right Ascension 07:39
Diameter (°)4
Area (square °)183
Opposition Jan 13
Size Rank 71st
Brightness Rank 30th
GenitiveCanis Minoris