Dorado (mahi-mahi or dolphin-fish) is a southern constellation. The constellation was one of twelve constellations created by Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser and Frederick de Houtman between 1595 and 1597, and it first appeared in Johann Bayer's Uranometria of 1603. It is also known as Xiphias or the Sword-fish.
The name Dorado is not a Latin word, but is a Spanish descendant of Latin dē-aurātus = "gilded", but as a constellation name it is treated (by analogy of the adjacent old constellation Argo Navis) like a feminine proper name of Greek origin ending in -ō (like Io or Callisto or Argo) with genitive ending in -ūs (Greek e.g. Καλλίστω - Καλλίστους).
Dorado is notable for containing most of the Large Magellanic Cloud, the remainder being in the constellation Mensa. The South Ecliptic Pole also lies within this constellation.
Notable deep sky objects
Because Dorado contains part of the Large Magellanic Cloud, it is rich in deep sky objects. All coordinates given are for Epoch J2000.0.
- The above deep sky objects appear in Norton's Star Atlas, 1973 edition.
- Co-ordinates are obtained from Uranometria Chart Index and Skyview
- Images of the deep sky objects described herein may be viewed at Skyview
- Ian Ridpath and Wil Tirion (2007). Stars and Planets Guide, Collins, London. ISBN 978-0007251209. Princeton University Press, Princeton. ISBN 978-0691135564.