In today’s article, we’re discussing Columba Constellation facts to help you identify, locate, and understand it.
Columba Constellation Facts, Myth, Location and Stars
What is the Columba Constellation?
The Columba constellation is located in the southern sky. Its name is Latin for dove. It was created by Dutch astronomer Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser and first appeared on a celestial globe in 1597.
Columba is a member of the Heavenly Waters constellation family, with other familiar constellations like Carina, Pyxis, and Vela.
Columba Constellation Stars
The constellation is not very bright, but it contains several interesting stars.
These stars are :
Alpha Columbae: The brightest star in the constellation with a magnitude of 2.61. It is blue-white star located about 268 light years away. It is also known as Phact.
Beta Columbae: A orange-hued giant with a magnitude of 3.44. It is located about 87 light years away. It is also known as Wazn.
Theta Columbae: A solitary star with a magnitude of 5.02. It is located about 700 light years away. It is also called Elkurud.
Columba Constellation Mythology
The constellation is not associated with any Greek myths. It is instead associated with the story of Noah’s Ark from the Bible.
The dove that Noah sent out from the ark to see if the floodwaters had receded is said to represent Columba.
Where is the Columba Constellation?
The Columba constellation can be seen in the southern sky. It is located south of Lepus and Canis Major.
Other bordering constellations include Caelum, Pictor and Puppis.
It can be found at latitudes between 45° and -90°.
How Big is the Columba Constellation?
The Columba constellation has an area of 270 square degrees.
This makes it the 54th largest constellation in the sky.
What are the Deep Sky Objects in the Columba Constellation?
There are several deep sky objects in the Columba constellation.
These include :
The Eskimo Nebula (NGC 2392): A planetary nebula located about 3,000 light years away. It gets its name from its resemblance to a parka-wearing Eskimo.
The open star cluster Messier 79 (NGC 1904): A globular cluster located about 41,000 light years away. It is one of the brighter globular clusters in the sky.
The Spindle Galaxy (NGC 3115): A lenticular galaxy located about 30 million light years away. It is one of the brightest galaxies in the sky and is home to a supermassive black hole.
The Cat’s Eye Nebula (NGC 6543): A planetary nebula located about 3,000 light years away. It gets its name from its resemblance to a cat’s eye.
Can the Columba Constellation Be Viewed Without a Telescope?
Yes, the Columba constellation can be seen with the naked eye. However, due to its faintness, it may be difficult to see all of its stars without binoculars or a telescope.
When is the Best Time to View the Columba Constellation?
The best time to view the Columba constellation is in the month of January.
This is because it is at its highest point in the sky during this time.
Columba Constellation’s Meteor Showers
The Columba constellation is home to two meteor showers.
These are the Iota Aquarids and the Piscid Meteor Showers.
The Iota Aquarids peak in May while the Piscid Meteor Shower peaks in December.
The Circinus Constellation is an interesting constellation to study. It has many bright stars and deep sky objects that make it worthy of exploration.
With a little bit of effort, you should be able to find and identify it in the night sky.
Have you had any luck locating the Circinus Constellation? Let us know in the comments section below.