n MNASSA : Monthly Notes of the Astronomical Society of South Africa - The flying Star-Dove : deepsky delights

Volume 70, Issue 3_4
  • ISSN : 0024-8266



Columba the Dove, a small southern starry constellation of only 270 square degrees, is one that has many tales woven around it. The original name for this constellation was Columba Noae or Noah's Dove, with the starry bird appearing to be flying just off the compass of Jason's ship, the combined constellations of Vela, Carina, Puppis and Pyxis. The constellation appeared correctly on Bayer's plate of Canis Major but was formally published by Augustin Royer in 1679. According to ancient tales the starry dove was being sent out by Jason to search for dry land in the hope of bringing back the branch and leaf of an olive tree.

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