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Constellation Canis Major (Great Dog)

Constellation Canis Major (Great Dog)

Southern Hemisphere


Great Dog

Canis Major

The Great Dog (lat. Canis Major) is a constellation of the winter sky and covers an area of 380 square degrees.

How to spot Canis Major

The constellation Canis Major is located in the southern hemisphere near the Orion. Despite its small size, it is very noticeable, as it contains many bright stars, including the brightest fixed star Sirius. This is located on the chest of the animal.


In Greek mythology, the constellation was seen as the fastest dog of its time, Lailaps. On the island of Thebes, there was a fox that caused a lot of damage in the population and its livestock. Because of a curse of the Gods it could never be captured. So Lailaps was set on the fox who chased it tirelessly. Finally, Zeus ended the hopeless hunt and set the dog in the sky for the gratitude of his actions.

Interesting Facts

Already the Babylonians recognized in the constellation a dog, who accompanied the hunter Orion. The Egyptians, however, saw in it their God Anubis. The Greeks associated the constellation with the fastest dog of the Aurora and also linked it to Orion.

The most conspicuous star of the constellation, Sirius, was already important in antiquity. In ancient Egypt, it announced the Nile floods, which were essential for the survival of the people. The Greeks, on the other hand, suffered under an intensified drought the time Sirius has risen.