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The Dove

Constellation of the southern sky

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Constellation FamilyHeavenly Waters
Celestial QuadrantsSQ1, SQ2
Right Ascension5h04 to 06h40
Declination-27.1° to -43.1#176;
Area (sq deg)270
Brightest StarPhact
Optimum VisibilityDecember / January
NotesColumba is not distinctive in the sky (its brightest star, Phact, is only third magnitude), but it is surrounded by prominent stars and constellations. The familiar shape of Orion lies directly to the north from Columba, beyond Lepus the Hare. Sirius, the brightest star in the sky, likes northeastward of the Dove, while Canopus, the sky's second brightest star, is near this constellation to the south.
Map of Columba Map of Columba

One of the southern sky's many bird-constellations, Columba is thought to represent the dove sent out from his ark by Noah, returning with an olive branch. Its major star is known as Phact.

Imagery provided by Aladin sky atlas


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