Alpha Canis Minoris

α Canis Minoris


Alpha Canis Minoris is a very bright 0.40 visual magnitude yellow-white star 11.4 light years away.

The star is known as Procyon, "before the dog", referring to the fact that this star rises just before the constellation Canis Major, to the south.

Procyon has a very faint (eleventh-magnitude) white dwarf companion, nearly impossible to see even in telescopes because of the brightness of the primary.

Procyon forms a very noticeable naked-eye equilateral triangle with Sirius (Canis Major) and Betelgeuse (Orion), making it easy to find: triangle.

Procyon is in the same field of vision as the constellation's other bright stars: binoculars.

The brightest of this bunch, beta CMi, is a third-magnitude star 170 light years away.

The three stars alpha, beta, and gamma form a pleasant trio of colours: white, blue, and reddish-orange.

A very nice double for telescopes is found two degrees west of alpha, Struve 1103: 7.1, 8.6; 244, 7.1".

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1999-2014 by Richard Dibon-Smith.