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Columba (constellation) facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Columba
Constellation
Abbreviation Col
Genitive Columbae
Pronunciation /kəˈlʌmbə/,
genitive /kəˈlʌmb/
Symbolism the dove
Right ascension 05h 03m 53.8665s–06h 39m 36.9263s
Declination -27.0772038°–-43.1116486°
Area 270 sq. deg. (54th)
Main stars 5
Bayer/Flamsteed
stars
18
Stars with planets 1
Stars brighter than 3.00m 1
Stars within 10.00 pc (32.62 ly) 0
Brightest star α Col (Phact) (2.65m)
Nearest star Gliese 218
(48.89 ly, 14.99 pc)
Messier objects 0
Meteor showers None
Bordering
constellations
Lepus
Caelum
Pictor
Puppis
Canis Major
Visible at latitudes between +45° and −90°.
Best visible at 21:00 (9 p.m.) during the month of February.

Columba is a small, faint constellation created in the late sixteenth century. Its name is Latin for dove. It is located just south of Canis Major and Lepus.

History

Constellation Columba
The constellation Columba as it can be seen by the naked eye
Sidney Hall - Urania's Mirror - Canis Major, Lepus, Columba Noachi & Cela Sculptoris
The constellation seen as "Columba Noachi" in Urania's Mirror (1825)

Columba was created by Dutch astronomer Petrus Plancius in 1592 in order to differentiate the 'unformed stars' of the large constellation Canis Major.

Plancius originally named the constellation Columba Noachi ("Noah's Dove"), referring to the dove that gave Noah the information that the Great Flood was receding. This name is found on early 17th-century celestial globes and star atlases. Columba may also represent the dove released by Jason and the Argonauts at the Black Sea's mouth; it helped them navigate the dangerous Symplegades.

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