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Dorado, The Goldfish Constellation

Dorado (Pronounciation:Door-ado, Abbrev:Dor, Latin:Doradus) is a constellation, one of 88 constellations that the night sky is divided into. The sky is not divided up equally between the constellations. Dorado takes up 179.173 sq. degrees of the night sky which equates to 0.43% of the night sky. The constellation gets its name as it name means The Goldfish . It was not one of the original constellations that had been devised by Ptolemy, instead it was created by Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser and Frederick de Houtman years later.

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

The brightest star in Dorado is Alpha Doradus. There are 7 Extrasolar Planets (Exoplanets) in this constellation that are detailed on this site. There is a dedicated page for exoplanets in Dorado. The current largest star so far identified in the constellation of Dorado is S Doradus. For a list of named stars, that is stars that don't start HD or HIP, please visit Dorado Star List Page.

Dorado Star and Deep Space Object Count

The number of stars that have been catalogued as part of the Hipparcos Star Catalogue from Dorado is 524. The number of stars that are of magnitude 6.0 or lower in the constellation is 18. The number of stars in the constellation that make up the outline is 5.

There are no deep space objects that were identified by Charles Messier in this constellation. There are 3 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 22738 which is roughly about 36.23 Light Years from the Earth. The nearest star to the Earth with an exoplanet is HD 30177 which is about 172.3 Light Years. The furthest star that can be located in the constellation is S Doradus which is located about 169000 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 Dorado with the naked eye is Eta1 Doradus. The dim star has an apparent magnitude of 5.72. 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.

There is no Greek Legend behind this constellation. It was created by Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser and Frederick de Houtman to fill in the voids in the astronomical charts.

Meteor Showers

There are 2 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
Gamma Velids1-17 Jan5/8 JanRegor

Dorado Facts

Is a Zodiac Sign No
Largest StarS Doradus
Brightest StarAlpha Doradus
Area179.173 sq. deg.
Percentage of Night Sky0.43%
Size Position72nd
Hemisphere Southern
Site Exoplanet Count7
Meteor Shower Count2
Nearest StarHIP 22738
Nearest Star with Exoplanet(s)HD 30177
Dimmest StarEta1 Doradus
Furthest StarS Doradus
Bright Star Count18
Hipparcos Star Count524
Main Star Count5
Messier Deep Space Object Count0
*Non-Messier Deep Space Object Count3
Bordering / Neighbouring / Surrounding ConstellationsCaelum

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

Dorado Constellation Map

Dorado 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 Dorado

NameTypeDistanceDeclinationRight Ascension
DEM L241Supernova Remnant160,000-67:35:09.0005h 36m 00m 0s
Ghosthead NebulaEmission Nebula160,000 Ly-69d 38` 44?05h 39m 44m 2s
Large Magellanic CloudDwarf Galaxy163.000-69:45:2205h 23m 34m 5s
SN1987aSupernova Remnant170,000-69:16:11.7905h 35h 28m 03
Tarantula Nebula (NGC2070)Globular Cluster160.000-69:05.705h 38m 38s

Meteor Showers

Gamma Velids Meteor Shower

Max Activity Date05 Jan
Activity Period1-17 Jan
Right Ascension125
Solar Longitude288
Alpha Radiant125

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