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Carina, The Keel Constellation

Carina (Pronounciation:Car-e-na, Abbrev:Car, Latin:Carinae) is a constellation, one of 88 constellations that the night sky is divided into. The sky is not divided up equally between the constellations. Carina takes up 494.184 sq. degrees of the night sky which equates to 1.2% of the night sky. The constellation gets its name as it name means The Keel . It was not one of the original constellations that had been devised by Ptolemy, instead it was created by Abbé Nicolas Louis de Lacaille years later.

Carina is not a member of the Zodiac group of twelve constellations that appear when the Sun sets. Carina is a southern hemispheric constellation which means it can't be seen easily or at all from the northern hemisphere.

The brightest star in Carina is Canopus. There are 14 Extrasolar Planets (Exoplanets) in this constellation that are detailed on this site. There is a dedicated page for exoplanets in Carina. The current largest star so far identified in the constellation of Carina is EV Carinae. For a list of named stars, that is stars that don't start HD or HIP, please visit Carina Star List Page.

Carina Star and Deep Space Object Count

The number of stars that have been catalogued as part of the Hipparcos Star Catalogue from Carina is 2156. The number of stars that are of magnitude 6.0 or lower in the constellation is 125. The number of stars in the constellation that make up the outline is 15.

There are no deep space objects that were identified by Charles Messier in this constellation. There are 2 non-Messier deep space objects that are covered on this site and the list is below.

Stars of Interest

The nearest star to Earth is HIP 45908 which is roughly about 34.12 Light Years from the Earth. The nearest star to the Earth with an exoplanet is HD 63765 which is about 108.47 Light Years. The furthest star that can be located in the constellation is HIP 48543 which is located about 326163.3 Light Years away from the Sun. The furthest figure is derived from either the 1997 or 2007 Hipparcos star catalogue parallax figure and it has been known to produce distances that are wrong.

The dimmest star that can be seen in Carina with the naked eye is HD 90874. The dim star has an apparent magnitude of 6. The dimmest star that a person is able to see with their naked eye is 6.0 magnitude based on the table in the reference. Ref: University of Michigan

The caveat of these stars are that they are catalogued on this site. If you know of a star that is nearer or further then do let me know in the comments and I'll add it to the site. The stars mentioned are from the Hipparcos catalogue or have been added because of their special status.

One of three constellations when Abbé Nicolas Louis de Lacaille broke up the Argo Navis. The other two constellations are Vela and Puppis.

Meteor Showers

There are 4 Meteor Showers that occur during the year within this constellation based on information gathered from Adam Mickiewicz University (Poland). The ones listed as the ones I've been able to find a date range for. For others if you have the time, you can visit the AMU site, obtains the SL value then use IMO tables to calculate the date. A lot of the Meteor Showers are weak and you need to do a lot of stargazing to spot them.

NameActivityPeak ActivityClosest Star
Eta Carinids14-Jan - 27 Jan21 - Jan

Carina Facts

Is a Zodiac Sign No
Largest StarEV Carinae
Brightest StarCanopus
Area494.184 sq. deg.
Percentage of Night Sky1.2%
Size Position34th
Hemisphere Southern
Site Exoplanet Count14
Meteor Shower Count4
Nearest StarHIP 45908
Nearest Star with Exoplanet(s)HD 63765
Dimmest StarHD 90874
Furthest StarHIP 48543
Bright Star Count125
Hipparcos Star Count2156
Main Star Count15
Messier Deep Space Object Count0
*Non-Messier Deep Space Object Count2

*Note: The number of Non-Messier Deep Space Object Count relates to how many are covered on this site not how many there are.

Carina Constellation Map

Carina Constellation Star Map

The map was generated using Night Vision, an awesome free application by Brian Simpson.

List of Deep Space Objects (Galaxies, Nebulas, Supernovas, etc) in Carina

NameTypeDistanceDeclinationRight Ascension
Westerlund - 2Star Cluster20,000-57:45:48.4210h 24h 6m 50

Meteor Showers

Eta Carinids Meteor Shower

Max Activity Date21 Jan
Activity Period14-Jan - 27 Jan
Right Ascension160
Solar Longitude280.7
Alpha Radiant160

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unknownThursday, 30th November 2017 5:45:16 PM
you should include the average of how far away it is from Earth