Argo Navis

Argo Navis (the Ship Argo), or simply Argo, was a large constellation in the southern sky that has since been divided into the three constellations of Carina, Puppis and Vela. The genitive was "Argus Navis", abbreviated "Arg". Flamsteed and other early modern astronomers called the constellation just Navis (the Ship), genitive "Navis", abbreviated "Nav". It was identified in Greek mythology with the Argo, the ship used by Jason and the Argonauts that sailed to Colchis in search of the Golden Fleece. The original constellation is presently found near the southern horizon of the Mediterranean sky, becoming visible in springtime and sailed westward, skimming along the "river of the Milky Way." Due to precession of the equinoxes, many of the stars of Argo have been shifted farther south since Classical times, and far fewer of its stars are visible today from the latitudes of the Mediterranean. This includes its brightest 1st-magnitude star, Canopus or α Carinae. All the stars of Argo Navis are easily visible south of the equator, and pass near zenith from southern temperate latitudes.


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