Canis Major: Latin Name For The Greater Dog

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For my essay I´ve chosen the constellation Canis Major, which is the Latin name for The Greater Dog. It is one of the two dogs, the other is Canis Minor. The abbreviation is CMa. Canis Major contains many brilliant stars and with the leading star Sirius it´s well visible on the night sky, especially in late summer. The days the Greater Dog is visible are the "dog days" of summer. You can see the constellation in the east before sunrise. The so called Dog Star Sirius is 8.7 light years away from our earth and not only the brighest star in his constellation, but also in the entire night sky . In my opinion, it´s an interesting tradition in the Black family to name their kids after stars (Orion, Sirius) and so I wanted to learn more about the constellation with the star Sirius.…show more content…
Canis Major was known in the culture of the ancient Egyptian. When this constellation appeared in the sky, the Nile River was about to overflow its banks, which was the most important annual event in ancient Egypt. The constellation functioned as a watchdog, so it was given the name Canis Major. In Greeks legends, Sirius was rewarded for his swiftness and therefore placed by Zeus in the sky. In India exists a myth about Prince Yudhistira, who went with his four brothers and his dog, Svana - our Sirius-, on a long journey to find the kingdom of heaven. Along the journey, the brothers left one by one to follow their hearts desires, only his dog stayed with the prince. They actually found the kingdom of heaven, but the gatekeeper Lord Indra denied Svana entrance, welcoming only the prince. Prince Yudhistira appreciated how the dog stayed with him till the end, so he told the gatekeeper he would rather not go into heaven than leave his dog Svana. Lord Indra wanted to hear this as he was just testing the prince, so he let both the prince and his dog

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