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Dorado (golden fish)

Location: Southern Hemisphere
Right Ascension: 05h
Declination: -65º
Source: Modern constellation mapped by Dutch navigators Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser and Frederick de Houtman, circa 1595
Dorado Constellation

The story behind the name: The constellation Dorado is in the shape of a fish. It is referred to in some early atlases as Xiphias (swordfish), but that is the result of an erroneous translation of the species. The constellation has been credited to two Dutch navigators, Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser and Frederick de Houtman, who were asked to make celestial observations on a voyage to the East Indies. Keyser died within a year but de Houtman continued adding observations. Their results, including Dorado, were included on a star globe created by Petrus Plancius in 1598 and were incorporated into a star atlas published by Johann Bayer in 1603. Dorado is a name for the dolphinfish, a species common in the Pacific. It is a fish, not to be confused with the mammal we more commonly call dolphin.

Johannes Hevelius' Dorado from Uranographia (1690)

The dolphinfish has two subspecies, the common dolphin and the pompano dolphin and is a prime eating fish. It is also known as mahi mahi and dorado. Alive, it has an iridescent golden hue.

Introduction to Constellations | Constellation Sources | Constellations Index

Objects observed by Chandra in Dorado: