The Small Dog or The Lesser Dog
The Brighter Stars of Canis Minor
Orion's Hunting Dog?Canis Minor is usually taken to be one of the hunting dogs of Orion. However there is another story connecting The Lesser Dog with Boötes and Virgo.
Boötes' Loyal Dog?This myth identifies Boötes with Icarius, who was famed for having received the secret of wine making from the Wine God, Dionysius. Icarius was killed by peasants who thought they had been poisoned by his wine. Icarius' loyal dog Maera ran home howling in grief and led Icarius' daughter back to his body. Poor Erigone hanged herself in grief over the death of her father. The gods had mercy on Icarius and his family and transported Icarius into the sky as the constellation of Boötes. Erigone became Virgo, and the dog Maera, the constellation of Canis Minor.
Alpha Canis Minoris
Distance (Light Years) 11.41 ± 0.04
Visual Magnitude 0.4
Color (B-V) 0.42
Names For This Star
Procyon is the Greek name for Alpha Canis Minoris from the earliest times. In English the meaning of the Greek roots would be something like "Before (or in Front of?) the Dog." The star was sometimes referred to in Latin as Antecanis, which, according to Allen is equivalent to "Procyon".
Other names for the star are Elgomaisa or Algomeysa which are derived from the Arabic name Al Shi'ra Shamiyyah, meaning "The Northern Sirius."
Description of the Star
Procyon is a yellowish F5IV-V subgiant to main sequence star 7 times as luminous as the sun and with twice the sun's diameter.
Procyon is a binary star system with the bright star as the primary. Procyon B is a 10th magnitude star separated by about 4.5 arc sec from the A star, that is, about 16 AU away from the star. The orbital period is 40.65 years.