ori.gif (1448 bytes)



ori.gif (1448 bytes) Mithology and history

Mithology of Carina

     One is the keel, old ship of Argus, who along with Puppis (the stern), Vela (the candle) forms a gigantic sector that dominates the austral firmament, crosses in all their length the strip of the Milky Way, does not surprise therefore, that stops the old ones wanted to symbolize the great Ship of the Argonautas which, with the unfolded candles and to the orders of Jasón and of helmsman Canopo or Canopus one goes to the conquest of the legendary vellocino of gold. These old cultures  comprise of the Mediterranan sea that does more than two thousand years, by the precession of the equinoxes the constellation was visible for those northern latitudes; however, at the present time he is invisible from practically all the North hemisphere.


ori.gif (1448 bytes) Characteristics

       One is in the South hemisphere, between the parallels -50º and -75º and therefore, hair net from the North hemisphere where I am writing these lines. It crosses the galactic equator in the western sector of the constellation. It limits the north with Vela and Puppis, the east with Pictor, the south with Volans and Chamaleon and the west with Musca and Centaurus. One is a rich star constellation and stellar accumulations, riquísima is a stellar zone.  It emphasizes therefore, its more shining star, Canopus or the second most shining one of the firmament after Sirius.

Constellation of Carina


Main stars

         a, alpha: Denominated Canopus, dedicated to the legendary helmsman of the ship of the Argonautas and more brilliant is second star after Sirius, of magnitude 0,63. Is 100 years 5,000 light and is more brilliant than the Sun. The supercial temperature is 7,500 ºC like the Sun of yellow color. Form leaves from the group of the Pleyades, stellar accumulation located in Taurus.

         b, beta or Miaplacidus, are in the South limit of the constellation next to Volans, is a white star located to 34 years light of magnitude 1,67.

         h, eta, is a considered peculiar star as it novates recurrent and sometimes like nebular variable. One is immersed in a gaseous envelope of 20" of arc that is in expansion at a speed of 500 Km/s. Brilla between magnitudes sixth a seventh but peaky variable. It is located more than 8,000 years light inside nebula NGC 3372 which is observed at first. According to some investigations the mass that locks up the object could reach some thousands of times of the Sun, but it assumes that it is member of an association or in formation still blue unstable neostar group, young and I warm up that they form association OB1 of Carina.

 Eta Carinae

Other objects

        NGC 2516: Stellar cluster located in the center of the constellation. shining and very pretty it is formed by stars between the seventh and twelfth magnitude. Light is to 1,400 years. It has an angular diameter of 30' and an age of 100 million years.

         NGC 3114: Stellar cluster of magnitude 4.2, formed by stars of the ninth until the twelfth magnitude; it has an angular diameter of 35' of arc. Light is to 3,000 years and has an age of 100 million years.  


ori.gif (1448 bytes) Observation by telescope

       To date observations by telescope have not been made since it is located in the South hemisphere, next to the celestial and invisible South Pole from where I write these lines to you, Majorca, Spain, although I do not discard to someday make a trip to the seas of the south, and to lose to me in an island of the Pacific to be able to contemplate and to locate the constellations that still I have left to discover.


Other constellations

      Next in the following window you can select the constellation that you want to locate, to observe and to discover following with the thematic one of the Web of Masm.

Masm © (Last update 2004-01-10