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Carina is a southern circumpolar constellation.
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Carina

The constellation Carina is known as the Keel. A keel is the wooden bottom of old sailing ships. Carina used to be a part of the large constellation called Argo Navis. It was divided up into four different constellations: Carina, Puppis, Vela and Pyxis.

Carina is a Southern Circumpolar constellation. So if you live in the southern hemisphere, you will see Carina all year round. But if you live in the Northern Hemisphere, you will probably never see it.

Can you see the shape of a ship in the image? Remember, Carina is only the bottom of the ship. Many years ago, sailing ships had a "U-shaped" bottom, like the constellation. The circle on one end is the figurehead. Old boats used to put pretty statues like Mermaids or serpents on the front of their ships!

The Keyhole Nebula is in this constellation. You can see what it looks like by clicking the link below! Also, the second brightest star in the night sky is in Carina. It is named Canopus.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF