The Dolphinfish

Abbreviation: Dor
Genitive: Doradus

The constellation of Dorado

At the end of the sixteenth century the observations of Dutch explorers Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser and Frederick de Houtman allowed Dutch astronomer Petrus Plancius to create this constellation. Although the current name is properly translated as a kind of goldfish or dolphinfish, some old star atlases refer to this constellation as the swordfish after an alternative name, Xiphias, which was popular during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Notable Features

Designation Name Description
Large Magellanic Cloud This irregular galaxy is one of the Milky Way's nearest galactic neighbours. It seems to have a bar-like structure, suggesting that it might be have been a barred spiral before being disrupted by our galaxy's gravitational field. It is visible to the naked eye as a hazy patch of light but binoculars or a small telescope reveal clusters and nebulae within it.
C103 Tarantula Nebula The Tarantula Nebula is a star-forming region within the LMC, much like our own galaxy's Orion Nebula but much larger. Binoculars or small telescopes reveal a wealth of detail in these objects.