The Constellation Directory


"The Dove"


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

Abbreviation: Col
Genitive: Columbae
Constellation family: Heavenly Waters
Nearest constellations: Caelum, Canis Major, Lepus, Pictor, and Puppis
Right ascension: 5.76h
Declination: -35.29°
Visible between latitudes: +45° and -90°
Square degrees: 270
Luminary: Phact (Alpha Columbae)
Named stars: Phact, Wezn
Notable deep sky objects: NGC 1808


Columba is a dim constellation in the Southern Hemisphere that is best seen in February.


There are two myths relating to Columba. In one story from Greek mythology, Columba represents the bird Jason and the Argonauts released ahead of them to help them navigate through the Black Sea. In another story, the constellation is a biblical symbol of the dove that Noah—of Noah's Ark—sent out and which returned with an olive branch after it found dry land.