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Canis Major

The Constellation: Canis Major


According to Greek Mythology, Laelaps was a dog that always caught whatever it hunted. The dog features in a variety of myths, including one in which it was sent to hunt the Teumessian fox, a fox that could never be caught. Realizing that they were doomed to be the hunter and the hunted for eternity, Zeus turned them both to stone then placed them in the sky as the constellations we know as Canis Major (Laelaps) and Canis Minor (the Teumessian fox). The irony, of course, is that they continue the chase in an eternal hunt, with Canis Minor rising in the winter skies about an hour before Canis Major.

Can you find Canis Major?

To find the constellation Canis Major, first locate the constellation Orion. The three stars that make up Orion's belt point southeast to Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky. Sirius is the neck of Canis Major. Slightly below and to the right of Sirius is the front paw, and other bright stars below and to the left mark the hindquarters including the tail and rear paw.

Explore the Mythologies of Globe at Night Constellations