Universe Guide

Dorado, The Goldfish Constellation

Dorado Constellation Star Map

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. Dorado is the 72nd largest in terms of size in the night sky.

The constellation 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.

There are 5 stars that make up the main constellation. The hipparcos satellite scanned and detailed 524 stars. There are 18 stars that can be seen with the naked eye in the constellation on a very clear night sky.

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.

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.

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.

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 Dorado

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 37.98 light years and the furthest main star is a distance of 1,006.68 light years. The average distance to the main stars is 285.93 light years.

Dorado 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 22738, Dorado's Nearest Star

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.

S Doradus, Dorado's Furthest Star

The furthest star that is located in the constellation is S Doradus and it is 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.

Alpha Doradus, Brightest Star in Dorado

The brightest star in Dorado is Alpha Doradus and is located about 63.08 light years from the Sun. The star has a apparent magnitude of 3.3 but an absolute magnitude of -0.27 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.

Eta1 Doradus, Dorado's Dimmest Visible Star

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.

HE 0437-5439

The star is a newish star, HE 0437-5439 is estimated at being about 30 million years. To put that it into context, the dinosaurs became extinct 65 million years ago. It is a hypervelocity star and is on its way out of the galaxy and will one day be known as a rogue star.


R-136a1 is one of the most massive stars ever discovered. What makes it even more interesting is the fact that it is not in the milky way but it is in a satellite galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud


VFTS-102 is remarkable in the fact that it is one of the fastest rotating stars ever to be discovered. It is rotating at more than a million miles a second, 1000 times faster than our Sun. The rotating has caused VFTS-102 to flatten out.

How to Find and View Dorado in the Night Sky

Northern Hemisphere

Southern Hemisphere

Dorado Mythology

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 Radiating from Dorado

There are 2 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
Gamma Doradids27 Aug- 3 Sep28-AugGamma Doradus

List of Main Stars in Dorado

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 Dorado Star List page.

NameBayerDistance (Lt.Yr.)Right AscensionDeclinationSpectral TypeColour
Alpha DoradusAlpha Doradus168.6504h 33m 59.72-55d 02` 42.0A0V:White
Beta DoradusBeta Doradus1006.6805h 33m 37.52-62d 29` 23.5F6IaYellow/White
Gamma DoradusGamma Doradus66.7404h 16m 01.49-51d 29` 13.5F4IIIYellow/White
Delta DoradusDelta Doradus149.6205h 44m 46.42-65d 44` 07.9A7VWhite
Zeta DoradusZeta Doradus37.9805h 05m 30.69-57d 28` 22.8F7VYellow/White

Dorado Facts

Is a Zodiac Sign No
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
Largest StarS Doradus
Brightest StarAlpha Doradus
Dimmest StarEta1 Doradus
Furthest StarS Doradus
Bright Star Count18
Hipparcos Star Count524
Main Star Count5
Messier Deep Space Object Count0
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.

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

NameTypeDistanceDeclinationRight Ascension
DEM L241Supernova Remnant160,000-67:35:09.0005h 36m 00m 0s
DEM L71Supernova Remnant160,000 -67:52:38.0005h 05h 41m 70
Ghosthead NebulaEmission Nebula160,000 -69d 38` 44?05h 39m 44m 2s
Large Magellanic CloudDwarf Galaxy163,000-69:45:2205h 23m 34m 5s
NGC 1672Seyfert Galaxy-59 14 50.6804 45 42m 552
NGC 1866Globular Cluster-65:27:52.7505h 13h 38m 920
NGC 2020Lenticular Galaxy-67 42 4505 33 10m 6
NGC 2109Star Cluster-68 32 49.3305 44 23m 180
NGC 2153Star Cluster-66 24 02.0705 57 51m 970
NGC2060Supernova Remnant170,000 -69 10 23.95728353205 37 51m 4470067818
SN 1987ASupernova Remnant-69 16 11.0705 35 28m 020
SN1987aSupernova Remnant170,000-69:16:11.7905h 35h 28m 03
Tarantula Nebula (NGC2070)Globular Cluster160.000-69:05.705h 38m 38s

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