Universe Guide

Columba, The Dove Constellation

Columba Constellation Star Map

Columba (Pronounciation:Col-um-bah, Abbrev:Col, Latin:Columbae) is a constellation, one of 88 constellations that the night sky is divided into. The sky is not divided up equally between the constellations. Columba takes up 270.184 sq. degrees of the night sky which equates to 0.65% of the night sky. Columba is the 54th largest in terms of size in the night sky.

The constellation name means The Dove . It was not one of the original constellations that had been devised by Ptolemy, instead it was created by Augustin Royer years later.

There are 5 stars that make up the main constellation. The hipparcos satellite scanned and detailed 806 stars. There are 45 stars that can be seen with the naked eye in the constellation on a very clear night sky.

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

There are 4 Extrasolar Planets (Exoplanets) in this constellation that are detailed on this site. There is a dedicated page for exoplanets in Columba.

There are no deep space objects that were identified by Charles Messier in this constellation. There are no non-Messier deep space objects in this constellation that are covered at present on this site.

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 Columba

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 87.19 light years and the furthest main star is a distance of 472.02 light years. The average distance to the main stars is 263.56 light years.

Columba 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 27359, Columba's Nearest Star

The nearest star to Earth is HIP 27359 which is roughly about 49.02 Light Years from the Earth. The nearest star to the Earth with an exoplanet is HD 43848 which is about 123.45 Light Years.

HIP 29612, Columba's Furthest Star

The furthest star that is located in the constellation is HIP 29612 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.

Phact, Brightest Star in Columba

The brightest star in Columba is Phact and is located about 40.71 light years from the Sun. The star has a apparent magnitude of 2.65 but an absolute magnitude of -1.87 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 43847, Columba's Dimmest Visible Star

The dimmest star that can be seen in Columba with the naked eye is HD 43847. 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 NGTS-1b exoplanet was discovered by the Next Generation Transit Survey, an operation centred out of the Paranal Observatory in Chile. What is most remarkable about the exoplanet is the size of the planet, a Jupiter that is orbit round a star that is only half as big as our star, the Sun.

The generally accepted theory was that only rocky planets would be able to form round small stars. The discovery of NGTS-1 has questioned the theory. It is the largest exoplanet discovered compared to the size of the star it orbits. The planet is close to its star, its year is a mere 2.6 Earth Days. National Geographic

How to Find and View Columba in the Night Sky

Northern Hemisphere

Columba barely visible on the horizon if you attempt to look for it in London. If you go further south say Miami, it will be visible from the start of the year until March when it falls below the horizon in a south westerly direction. When the constellation returns, it will be appear in a south easterly direction in late October but to see it clearly, wait until November.

Southern Hemisphere

In the souther hemisphere, it will start high in the sky in January before moving in a westerly direction before disappearing in the south west. It will return in the south east at the end of August and gradually rise in the sky.

Columba Mythology

It was created by Augustin Royer as he split the Canis Major constellation into two. There is no legend or story behind this constellation compared to other constellations such as Orion.

Columba Facts

Is a Zodiac Sign No
Brightest StarPhact
Area270.184 sq. deg.
Percentage of Night Sky0.65%
Size Position54th
Hemisphere Southern
Site Exoplanet Count4
Meteor Shower Count3
Nearest StarHIP 27359
Nearest Star with Exoplanet(s)HD 43848
Brightest StarPhact
Dimmest StarHD 43847
Furthest StarHIP 29612
Bright Star Count45
Hipparcos Star Count806
Main Star Count5
Messier Deep Space Object Count0
Bordering / Neighbouring / Surrounding ConstellationsLupus
Triangulum Australe

*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 Columba

NameTypeDistanceDeclinationRight Ascension
NGC 1808Seyfert Galaxy-37 30 46.9805 07 42m 343

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