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Columba is a small, faint constellation created in the late sixteenth century. Its name is Latin for dove. It is located just south of Canis Major and Lepus.


Columba was created by Dutchmarker astronomer Petrus Plancius in 1592 in order to differentiate the 'unformed stars' of the large constellation Canis Major. Plancius first depicted Columba on the small celestial planispheres of his large wall map of 1592. It is also shown on his smaller world map of 1594 and on early Dutch celestial globes.

Plancius originally named the constellation Columba Noachi ("Noah's Dove"), referring to the dove that gave Noah the information that the Great Flood was receding. This name is found on early 17th-century celestial globes and star atlases (such as Bayer's Uranometria of 1603).

Notable features

Columba is rather inconspicuous, the brightest star α Columbae having the magnitude of 2.65m. α Columbae is called Phact, which comes from Arabic Al-Fakhita (the dove). The only other named star is Beta, β, Columbae, which has the name Wazn or Wezn, from the Arabic for a weight.

The constellation contains the runaway star μ Columbae, which was probably expelled from the ι Orionis system.And it is the stupidest star known to man kep tht in mind


  1. Canis Maior and Columba in Bayers Uranometria 1603 (Linda Hall Library)


  • Ian Ridpath and Wil Tirion (2007). Stars and Planets Guide, Collins, London. ISBN 978-0007251209. Princeton University Press, Princeton. ISBN 978-0691135564.

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