Columba Constellation: History, Location, How to View

Columba Constellation: History, Location, How to View

If you know about Noah’s story, you will love learning about the Columba constellation associated with this story. The Columba constellation is named after Noah’s dove, the biblical bird that informed Noah about the Great Flooding receding.

This constellation is home to three approved stars of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) named Waz, Elkurud, and Phact. Columba is part of the “heavenly waters” constellation family and some other constellations like Delphinus, Puppis, Carina, Equuleus, Vela, Pyxis, Piscis Austrinus, and Eridanus.

History of Columba Constellation

This constellation was first mentioned in the early 3rd century BC in Aratus’s astronomical poem named “Phainomena”. He said Columba as faint stars but could not figure any name for it.

Afterward, in 1592, Petrus Plancius depicted Columba on his large wall-map as a tiny celestial planisphere for differentiating stars of Canis Major. Moreover, in 1594 Columba was also shown on initial celestial globes of Dutch.

Plancius first named this constellation “Columba Noachi,” which means Noah’s Dove. Later, Columba Noachi’s name was also found on star atlases and celestial globes in the 17th century and Urania’s Mirror in 1825. Moreover, Columba was also listed in Lacaille’s constellation list in 1757 (or 1763).

What is the English name for Columba Constellation?

The English name for the Columba constellation is “Dove“.

What is the Greek Mythological Significance of Columba Constellation?

The Columba constellation represents the dove of Noah in the sky through the myth associated with it. The legend states that the dove of Noah was sent after the Great Flood. It was sent from the Ark to check if any dry land was left after the massive flooding.

Later, Noah’s dove returns with an olive branch in its beak. It used the olive branch to signal that the flood is diminishing. Additionally, it has also been interpreted as the dove sent by Argonauts in some other explanations. The dove in this interpretation was sent between the Clashing Rocks to ensure that the Argonauts has safe passage.

How to Find Columba Constellation?

The Columba constellation is one of the easiest to find constellations. You do not need to follow complicated steps to locate them. Just follow two simple steps below:

  • Locate Canis Major or Lepus constellations.
  • Towards their south, locate Columba.

What is the Area of Columba Constellation?

Columba constellation contains a total area of 270.187 square degrees in the night sky.

What Quadrant is Columba Constellation in?

It is situated in the first quadrant of the southern hemisphere named as SQ1.

What Latitude is Columba Constellation Visible in?

You can view Columba between the latitude of +45° and -90°. The neighbors of this constellation are:

  • Caelum
  • Canis Major
  • Lepus
  • Pictor
  • Puppis

What Type of Telescope is Best for Viewing Columba Constellation?

Columbus is not a very tiny constellation, making it easier to view it even with the binoculars and small telescopes. Therefore, you do not need large professional telescopes for viewing it.


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