Columba (constellation)

Columba (constellation)
List of stars in Columba
Abbreviation Col
Genitive Columbae
Pronunciation /kəˈlʌmbə/, genitive /kəˈlʌmbiː/
Symbolism the dove
Right ascension 6 h
Declination −35°
Quadrant SQ1
Area 270 sq. deg. (54th)
Main stars 5
Stars with planets 0
Stars brighter than 3.00m 1
Stars within 10.00 pc (32.62 ly) 0
Brightest star α Col (Phact) (2.65m)
Nearest star Gliese 218
(48.89 ly, 14.99 pc)
Messier objects 0
Meteor showers None
Canis Major
Visible at latitudes between +45° and −90°.
Best visible at 21:00 (9 p.m.) during the month of February.

Columba is a small, faint constellation created in the late sixteenth century. Its name is Latin for dove. It is located just south of Canis Major and Lepus.



Columba was created by Dutch astronomer Petrus Plancius in 1592 in order to differentiate the 'unformed stars' of the large constellation Canis Major. Plancius first depicted Columba on the small celestial planispheres of his large wall map of 1592. It is also shown on his smaller world map of 1594 and on early Dutch celestial globes.

Plancius originally named the constellation Columba Noachi ("Noah's Dove"), referring to the dove that gave Noah the information that the Great Flood was receding. This name is found on early 17th-century celestial globes and star atlases (such as Bayer's Uranometria of 1603[1]).

Notable features

Columba is rather inconspicuous, the brightest star α Columbae having the magnitude of 2.65m. α Columbae is called Phact, which comes from Arabic Al-Fakhita (the dove). The only other named star is Beta, β, Columbae, which has the name Wazn or Wezn, from the Arabic for a weight.

Columba is the constellation that is at the solar antapex - the Earth (and Sun) is moving away from its direction as the solar system moves through space.

The constellation contains the runaway star μ Columbae, which was probably expelled from the ι Orionis system.

See also

Columba (Chinese astronomy)



External links

Coordinates: Sky map 06h 00m 00s, −35° 00′ 00″

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