Dorado (English pronunciation: /dɒˈrd/) is a constellation in the southern sky. It was named in the late 16th century and is now one of the 88 modern constellations. Its name refers to the dolphinfish (Coryphaena hippurus), which is known as dorado in Portuguese, although it has also been depicted as a swordfish. Dorado contains most of the Large Magellanic Cloud, the remainder being in the constellation Mensa. The South Ecliptic pole also lies within this constellation.

Even though the name Dorado is not Latin but Portuguese, astronomers give it the Latin genitive form Doradus when naming its stars; it is treated (like the adjacent asterism Argo Navis) as a feminine proper name of Greek origin ending in -ō (like Io or Callisto or Argo), which have a genitive ending -ūs.

Dorado was one of twelve constellations named by Petrus Plancius from the observations of Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser and Frederick de Houtman,. It appeared:

Dorado has been represented historically as a dolphinfish and a swordfish; the latter depiction is inaccurate. It has also been represented as a goldfish. The constellation was also known in the 17th and 18th century as Xiphias. The name Dorado ultimately become dominant and was adopted by the IAU.

Alpha Doradus is a blue-white star of magnitude 3.3, 176 light-years from Earth. It is the brightest star in Dorado. Beta Doradus is a notably bright Cepheid variable star. It is a yellow-tinged supergiant star that has a minimum magnitude of 4.1 and a maximum magnitude of 3.5. One thousand and forty light-years from Earth, Beta Doradus has a period of 9 days and 20 hours.

R Doradus is one of the many variable stars in Dorado. S Dor, 9.721 hypergiant in the Large Magellanic Cloud, is the prototype of S Doradus variable stars. The variable star R Doradus 5.73 has the largest known apparent size of any star other than the Sun. Gamma Doradus is the prototype of the Gamma Doradus variable stars.

This page was last edited on 15 March 2018, at 13:58 (UTC).
Reference: under CC BY-SA license.

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