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public Observing fromLocation: Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt
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All Constellations » Carina » 

Canopus - α Carinae (alpha Carinae)

Altitude: -52.1°   Azimuth: 117.7°   Direction: East-South-East

Canopus, also designated as α Carinae (alpha Carinae), is a hypergiant star in the constellation of Carina.

Canopus visual magnitude is -0.72, making it the third brightest star in the sky. Thanks to its high brightness, Canopus is clearly visible when observed from locations with dark skyes, and should be also quite easily visible from light polluted areas.

The table below summarizes the key facts about Canopus:


Canopus - α Carinae (alpha Carinae) is below the horizon from Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt.

Altitude: -52.1°
Azimuth: 117.7°
Direction: East-South-East

Celestial coordinates and finder chart of Canopus

Canopus is situated south of the celestial equator, as such, it is more easily visible from the southern hemisphere. Celestial coordinates for the J2000 equinox as well as galactic coordinates of Canopus are provided in the following table:

06h 23m 57s
-52° 41’ 44”

The simplified sky map below shows the position of Canopus in the sky:

Finder chart Canopus - α Carinae (alpha Carinae) star
Simplified finder chart for Canopus - α Carinae (alpha Carinae).

Visibility of Canopus from your location

Location: Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt
Latitude: 51° 28’ 47” N
Longitude: 0° 00’ 00” E
Timezone: Europe/London

Canopus - α Carinae (alpha Carinae) is currently not visible from Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt

Digitized Sky Survey image of Canopus

The image below is a photograph of Canopus from the Digitized Sky Survey 2 (DSS2 - see the credits section) taken in the red channel. The area of sky represented in the image is 0.5x0.5 degrees (30x30 arcmins). The proper motion of Canopus is 0.022 arcsec per year in Right Ascension and 0.021 arcsec per year in Declination and the associated displacement for the next 10000 years is represented with the red arrow.

Image of Canopus - α Carinae (alpha Carinae) star
DSS2 image of Canopus. The red arrow shows the motion of Canopus during the next 10000 years (3.67 arcmin in Right Ascension and 3.50 arcmin in declination);

Distance of Canopus from the Sun and relative movement

Canopus is distant 312.56 light years from the Sun and it is moving far from the Sun at the speed of 21 kilometers per second.

95.88 pc
312.56 ly
21 km/s
0.022 arcsec/year
0.021 arcsec/year

Spectral properties of Canopus

Canopus belongs to spectral class F0 and has a luminosity class of II corresponding to a hypergiant star.


The red dot in the diagram below shows where Canopus is situated in the Hertzsprung–Russell diagram.

HR Diagram
H-R diagram showing the position of Canopus. Attribution: Richard Powell / CC BY-SA

Alternative designations of Canopus

α Carinae
(alpha Carinae)