Dorado

Dorado


Transit Date of principal star:
29 November


Dorado was introduced by Johann Bayer in 1603 in his epoch-making star atlas, Uranometria.

Dorado, "The Goldfish", is also known as "The Swordfish". While the Bayer stars are not very bright, there are several objects of interest in the constellation, notably the Large Magellanic Cloud and the Tarantula Nebula.


Double stars:

While Dorado has its share of binaries, they are quite dim and not particularly interesting. The one exception might be h3796.
h3796 is a multiple group found in the vicinity of NGC 2070 (see below for this deep sky object).

The principal star is nine-magnitude while most of the other dozen or so companions are in the 12-14 magnitude category.

AB: 9, 10; PA 213, separation 0.5".

A full listing of the other companions' position angles and separations is given in Burnham (p.833).


Variable stars:

Alpha Doradus is an alpha-CV type variable: 3.26-3.3 every 2d 23m.

Beta Doradus is a cepheid: 3.46-4.08 every 9d20m.

Gamma Doradus is an EW type variable: 4.23-4.27.

R Doradus is a semi-regular variable, 4.8 to 6.6 about every 338 days.


Deep Sky Objects:

NGC 2070, the Tarantula Nebula, is a gaseous section of the Large Magellanic Cloud. The nebula is so bright it goes by the name 30 Doradus. Dozens of supergiant stars are clustered at its centre, furnishing the nebula's light. With a diameter of about a thousand light years, if the Tarantula Nebula were moved to Orion - at the same distance as the Orion Nebula - then it would entirely fill the constellation of Orion.

The Large Magellanic Cloud is a miniature galaxy about 200,000 light years away, a satellite of the Milky Way. It has perhaps a tenth of the mass of our own Milky Way Galaxy, with roughly 10,000 million stars (or ten billion if you wish).


For a closer appreciation of Dorado, visit the Binocular Section.


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