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Columba, The Dove Constellation

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. The constellation gets its name as it 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.

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.

The brightest star in Columba is Phact. There are 4 Extrasolar Planets (Exoplanets) in this constellation that are detailed on this site. There is a dedicated page for exoplanets in Columba. For a list of named stars, that is stars that don't start HD or HIP, please visit Columba Star List Page.

Columba Star and Deep Space Object Count

The number of stars that have been catalogued as part of the Hipparcos Star Catalogue from Columba is 806. The number of stars that are of magnitude 6.0 or lower in the constellation is 45. The number of stars in the constellation that make up the outline is 7.

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.

Stars of Interest

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

Columba Mythological Legend

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.

NGTS-1b Exoplanet

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

Meteor Showers

There are 3 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
GeminidsDecember 6-19Dec. 13/14Castor

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
Dimmest StarHD 43847
Furthest StarHIP 29612
Bright Star Count45
Hipparcos Star Count806
Main Star Count7
Messier Deep Space Object Count0
*Non-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.

Columba Constellation Map

Columba Constellation Star Map

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

Meteor Showers

Geminids Meteor Shower

There are two Meteor Showers that are related to the Gemini, the twins constellation, the Geminids and the Epsilon-Geminids with the Epsilon-Geminids occuring earlier in the year.

The Geminids are different from the other meteor showers, in that they are associated with an asteroid rather than a comet such as Comet C / 1964 N1 Ikeya which is responsible for the Epsilon-Geminids meteor shower. The source of the meteors is an asteroid, it is speculated that Phaethon is actually a comet that has lost its ice and dust and therefore the meteors are it crumbling under the stress of orbiting

The radiant point of the meteor shower, the point at which they can be seen is by the Castor which is one of the heads of the twins in this constellation. To locate the centre of activity, just look towards the head.

The Geminids are particlarly noted for their colours compared to the other meteor showers. 65% White, 26% Yellow and the remaining 9% is Blue, Red and Green. They are one of the three major meteor showers of a year, the others are the Quadrantids and Perseids. Ref: SkyScrapers

Associated Comet(3200) Phaethon
Max Activity Date14 Dec
Activity PeriodDecember 6-19
Right Ascension113.5
Solar Longitude262
Alpha Radiant113.5
Zenith Hourly Rate120

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