Carina Constellation History, Location, How To View

Carina Constellation: History, Location, How to View

The 88 constellations are divided into eight constellation families based on the shared traits of each constellation. One of eight families is Heavenly Waters. This constellation family contains nine constellations, including the Carina constellation, which is the 34th largest constellation.

Moreover, Carina also contains the night sky’s second brightest star named Canopus. It also has several other bright stars, including Eta Carinae, which is surrounded by Carina Nebula. However, it does not contain any Messier object.

History of Carina Constellation

Ptolemy created this constellation in the 2nd century. During the old days, Carina was part of the Argo Navis, Jason and Argonauts’ ship, which they both used to search the Golden Fleece.

Afterward, Argo was introduced by the ancient Greeks, but it had a massive size. Therefore, in 1763 Nicolas Louis de Lacaille divided it into three smaller constellations named Vela, Carina, and Puppis. Carina got the recognition as a separate constellation in the 19th century.

What is the English name for Carina Constellation?

The English name for the Carina constellation is “Keel“.

What is the Greek Mythological Significance of Carina Constellation?

Carina is not associated with any direct Greek mythology. However, it has a story that relates to the Argo Navis, as mentioned above.

Argo Navis was a ship built by Argus, who used Mount Pelion’s timber by Athena’s order. Afterward, when the boat was built, it was named Argo Navis after Argus. Athena used an oak beam to fit the ship from Zeus’ oracle at Dodona, considered the oldest Hellenic prophet. The myth states that the oak beam could speak as it was oracle’s part.

After the ship was built, the Argonauts and Jason set sail to Colchis. On their way to Colchis, they encountered some Clashing Rocks which blocked entry to the Black Sea and destroyed all the ships. However, Argo Navis was the first ship to pass the entrance. When reached, the Argonauts and Jason took the Golden Fleece and went back to Greece. On the way back, Jason dedicated the Golden Fleece to Poseidon, who was the sea god.

How to Find Carina Constellation?

To locate the Carina constellation quickly, follow the steps below:

  • Face towards the south.
  • Locate Canopus, the second brightest night sky star.
  • Canopus is in Carina Constellation. When you find Canopus, you fin Carina.

What is the Area of Carina Constellation?

The total area of this constellation is 494.184 square degrees.

What Quadrant is Carina Constellation in?

It is located in the second quadrant of the southern hemisphere. This quadrant is also referred to as SQ2.

What Latitude is Carina Constellation Visible in?

This constellation is visible between the latitude of +20° and -90°. Its neighbors are:

  • Centaurus
  • Chamaeleon
  • Musca
  • Pictor
  • Puppis
  • Vela
  • Volans

What Type of Telescope is Best for Viewing Carina Constellation?

Since this constellation contains the second brightest star in the sky, it is easy to view it. You do not need large and professional telescopes for this. You can see it with naked eyes, binoculars, or a simple amateur telescope.


Recommended Reading: