Universe Guide

Carina, The Keel Constellation

Carina Constellation Star Map

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. Carina is the 34th largest in terms of size in the night sky.

The constellation 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.

There are 11 stars that make up the main constellation. The hipparcos satellite scanned and detailed 2156 stars. There are 125 stars that can be seen with the naked eye in the constellation on a very clear night sky.

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.

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.

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.

The image at the top right of this page was generated using Night Vision, a free to use and download application by Brian Simspon.

Distance to Carina

You can't just go to one location and arrive at the constellation because the constellation is made up of stars at different locations and different distances. The nearest main star in the constellation is at a distance of 52.91 light years and the furthest main star is a distance of 1,436.84 light years. The average distance to the main stars is 581.76 light years.

Carina Star Facts

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.

HIP 45908, Carina's Nearest Star

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.

HIP 48543, Carina's Furthest Star

The furthest star that is located in the constellation is HIP 48543 and it is 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.

Canopus, Brightest Star in Carina

The brightest star in Carina is Canopus and is located about 34.41 light years from the Sun. The star has a apparent magnitude of -0.62 but an absolute magnitude of -5.50 when the star is viewed from a distance of 10 Parsecs or 32.6 Light Years. The star is recognised as being the brightest in the constellation as it has the Bayer status of Alpha.

HD 90874, Carina's Dimmest Visible Star

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.

AG Carinae

The AG Carinae is one of the most luminous stars in the milky way. Luminous being the amount of energy that it is expelling. Some places on the net will refer to it as being a Wolf Rayet and others will refer to it as becoming one. Either way, it is or will be a Wolf-Rayet star, a star that has moved beyond its main sequence. Even though it is large and bright, it is too far away (17166.49 Light Years) to be seen by the naked eye.

Carina Mythology

Carina is one of three constellations when Abbé Nicolas Louis de Lacaille created when he broke up the Argo Navis. The other two constellations are Vela and Puppis. The Argo Nevis is the name of the boat that Jason used in search of the Golden Fleece.

Meteor Showers Radiating from Carina

There are 5 Meteor Showers that occur during the year within this constellation based on information gathered from Adam Mickiewicz University (Poland). The list below are major ones and which I have a date period for.

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

List of Main Stars in Carina

The following list contains the stars that make up the constellation. For a larger list of stars in the entire constellation area, please visit the For a list of named stars, that is stars that don't start HD or HIP, please visit Carina Star List page.

NameBayerDistance (Lt.Yr.)Right AscensionDeclinationSpectral TypeColour
CanopusAlpha Carinae309.1606h 23m 57.09-52d 41` 44.6F0IbYellow/White
MiaplacidusBeta Carinae113.1709h 13m 12.24-69d 43` 02.9A2IVWhite
AviorEpsilon Carinae605.1308h 22m 30.86-59d 30` 34.3K3III+B2VOrange
Theta CarinaeTheta Carinae455.5410h 42m 57.43-64d 23` 40.1B0VpBlue/White
AspidiskeIota Carinae765.6409h 17m 05.43-59d 16` 30.9A8IbWhite
Upsilon CarinaeUpsilon Carinae1436.8409h 47m 06.14-65d 04` 19.3A9White
Chi CarinaeChi Carinae454.9007h 56m 46.74-52d 58` 56.6B3IVpBlue/White
Omega CarinaeOmega Carinae341.8910h 13m 44.28-70d 02` 16.5B8IIIBlue/White
I Carinae52.9110h 24m 23.74-74d 01` 53.6F2IVYellow/White
N Carinae1364.7006h 34m 58.59-52d 58` 32.3B9IIIBlue/White
D Carinae499.4808h 00m 19.97-63d 34` 03.0B3VBlue/White

Carina Facts

Is a Zodiac Sign No
Brightest StarCanopus
Area494.184 sq. deg.
Percentage of Night Sky1.2%
Size Position34th
Hemisphere Southern
Site Exoplanet Count14
Meteor Shower Count5
Nearest StarHIP 45908
Nearest Star with Exoplanet(s)HD 63765
Largest StarEV Carinae
Brightest StarCanopus
Dimmest StarHD 90874
Furthest StarHIP 48543
Bright Star Count125
Hipparcos Star Count2156
Main Star Count11
Messier Deep Space Object Count0
Bordering / Neighbouring / Surrounding ConstellationsPuppis

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

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

NameTypeDistanceDeclinationRight Ascension
Carina NebulaNebula8,500 -59:52:410h 45h 08m 5
NGC 3114Open Star Cluster2969.9 -60 07 1210 02 36m 0
NGC 3603Nebula20,000 -61:15:0011h 15h 23
Pincushion Cluster, Football Cluster, Wishing Well Cluster, Caldwell 91Star Cluster1,321 -58:48.311h 05h 33
Westerlund - 2Star Cluster20,000-57:45:48.4210h 24h 6m 50

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