The Constellation Directory

Canis Minor

"The Lesser Dog"

Canis Minor

By IAU and Sky & Telescope magazine (Roger Sinnott & Rick Fienberg) [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Abbreviation: CMi
Genitive: Canis Minoris
Constellation family: Orion
Nearest constellations: Cancer, Gemini, Hydra, and Monoceros
Right ascension: 7.66h
Declination: 5.90°
Visible between latitudes: +85° and -75°
Square degrees: 183
Luminary: Procyon (Alpha Canis Minoris)
Named stars: Procyon, Gomeisa


Canis Minor

By Alessio Govi (Uranographia, Johann Bode) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Canis Minor is a small constellation in the Northern Hemisphere. It is best seen in March.

Procyon, a binary star system and Canis Minor's luminary, is the eighth-brightest star in the night sky. Procyon, Sirius (from Canis Major), and Betelgeuse (from Orion) form a triangular asterism called the Winter Triangle, which is an almost perfect equilateral triangle. In addition, Procyon, Sirius, Aldebaran (from Taurus), Capella (from Auriga), Pollux (from Gemini), and Rigel (from Orion) form a collection of stars called the Winter Hexagon or Winter Circle.


In Greek mythology, Canis Minor is one of Orion's two hunting dogs. The other dog is Canis Major.