Canis Minor

Mythology

Canis Minor, the little dog was thought to be a water dog since it stood on the edge of the Milky Way. Sometimes the legends connect the dog to Orion along with the larger dog, Canis Major. Another story tells that the dog's name is Mera and that it belonged to Icarius. Someone murdered the dog's master but no-one could recover the body. Mera searched until he found his master's body and then barked until Icarius' daughter Erigone arrived. The daughter was so grief stricken that she took her own life. Mera too pined away until the little dog died. The gods, touched by the dog's loyalty and love, placed him in the sky. The dog has also been said to be one of Actaeon's hounds. One day while hunting in the woods, Actaeon came upon the goddess Diana who was bathing in a pool. When Diana realized she was being watched, she became enraged and changed Actaeon into a stag that the hounds chased down.

For the observer

Autumn and Winter Skies

Alpha Canis Minoris, Procyon (7h 39m +5° 14') is a white subgiant class F5 star. With a magnitude of 0.4, the star is 11.2 light years distant making it one of the closest stars to the Sun. The companion, known as Procyon B is a white dwarf of magnitude of 11 making it somewhat of a challenge.

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Kathy Miles, Author, and Chuck Peters, Systems Administrator
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