α Canum Venaticorum


Alpha Canum Venaticorum is ‘Cor Caroli’, the heart of Charles (King Charles II probably, although there is a lot of dispute over the origin of the name).

In antiquity alpha Canum was Chara, one of two hunting dogs; the other was Asterion, beta Canum.

Having moved half-way along the line from Arcturus to gamma UMa, one should have this view.

Alpha CVn is a fine fixed double system with, perhaps, a subtle colour contrast (some observers report white and blue): 2.9, 5.6, the brightest (and therefore the primary) being alpha2. The companion, alpha1, is found at a position angle of 228º and a separation of 19.6".

In the same region, on the eastern edge, is 17 CVn, a very wide binocular binary: 6.0, 6.3; 296º, and separation 276".

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