Jordanus (constellation)

The Jordan River (lat. Jordanus ) is a constellation of the northern sky, which is not among the 88 of the International Astronomical Union ( IAU) recognized constellations.

The Jordan covers the whole constellation hunting dogs ( Canes Venatici ), the extreme south of the Great Bear (Ursa Maior ) and total constellations Little Lion ( Leo Minor ) and lynx (Lynx ).

The brightest stars of the constellation are α Canum Venaticorum (2.85 m) and α Lyncis ( 3.12 m ), today both main stars of their constellations hounds and lynx. The remaining stars are all very faint, maximum size class 4m, 5m or class size mostly weaker.

The river Jordan in 1612 presented by the Dutch theologian, astronomer and cartographer Petrus Plancius on a celestial globe made ​​by him, as Füllsternbild between the Great Bear, the Bear Driver, the lion, the twins and the wagoner.

Petrus Plancius had this constellation probably imported from purely theological religious reasons: the sacred river Jordan as a heavenly counterpart. But as far too elongated and weak light constellation it was astronomers from the beginning suspect. In addition, it bore no resemblance to the true course of the river of earthly river Jordan. They led in this star area with hunting dogs, little lion and lynx three smaller more manageable constellations, which eventually prevailed.

To observe midnight, the Jordan River from Germany is seen in winter and spring at its highest, for the most part it is circumpolar.