Carina is a southern circumpolar constellation.
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The constellation Carina is known as the Keel, which is the bottom part of old ships. Carina was originally a part of Argo Navis, which was a huge boat in the night sky. It has since been divided into four constellations: Carina, Puppis, Vela and Pyxis.
Many civilizations believed Carina was a ship. In classical myth, Argo Navis was the ship of Jason and the Argonauts, who sailed the seas in search of the Golden Fleece. Others say the ship belonged to Menelaus, husband of Helen of Troy. The ancient Egyptians say the ship belonged to Osiris and Isis.
The brightest star in Carina is called Canopus. It is actually the second brightest star in the sky behind Sirius. Canopus was the name of the pilot of Menelaus' fleet. It lies at the very end of the constellation.
The famous Keyhole Nebula is located just below the circle in the constellation. It is one of the most watched nebulae in the sky, and scientists say it contains the most visible star that will become a supernova.
It is hard to see any shape of a ship in the figure without the rest of Argo Navis. But if you recall the shape of the old wooden ships used during the age of discovery, you will notice that the constellation makes out a sort of "U-shape", characteristic of the bottom of ships. The circle may represent the ship's figurehead. Carina is a Southern Circumpolar constellation, so only a very few in the Northern Hemisphere can see it.
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