Canis Major kā´nĭs [key] [Lat.,=greater dog], constellation lying near the celestial equator, SE of Orion. Known as the Large Dog (Canis Minor is the Small Dog), it was associated with the figure of a dog by many cultures; the ancient Greeks identified it as one of Orion's hunting dogs, while the Scandinavians called it Sigurd's dog. It contains Sirius, the brightest star in the heavens, also known as the Dog Star. Other bright stars in Canis Major are Adhara (Epsilon Canis Majoris), Mirzam (Beta Canis Majoris), and Wezen (Delta Canis Majoris). The constellation reaches its highest point in the evening sky in February.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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