Created by Petrus Plancius in 1613, the constellation camelopardalis is not one of Ptolemy’s 48 constellations in the Almagest. It first appeared in a globe designed by him and produced by Pieter van den Keere designed and produced a globe for Petrus Plancius, which was the first instance of the appearance of camelopardalis. In 1614, Jakob Bartsch featured the constellation in his atlas.

Chinese astronomers located the stars in a group of circumpolar stars called the Purple Forbidden Enclosure.

It is a circumpolar constellation, so it is always visible in the Pacific Northwest. The best time to view the constellation is in February.

Fun Fact: Voyager 1 is heading in the direction of this constellation, which means by the time that it arrives, the power source will be dead. Voyager 1 is not expected to arrive for several thousand years.

Applicable Information
Visibility In Pacific NorthwestCircumpolar
Best Times To ViewFebruary
Right Ascension03h 15m 36.2232s–14h 27m 07.8855s
Area757 square degrees
Main Stars2, 8
Brightest Objectβ Cam
Meteor showersOctober Camelopardalids
Messier objects0
Neighboring ConstellationsDraco, Ursa Minor, Cepheus, Cassiopeia, Perseus, Auriga, Lynx, Ursa Major

The Name

The name Camelopardalis comes from the Latin word camelopardalis, which comes from the Greek words for giraffe, camel, and spotted. This is a result of the constellation drawing looking like it has a long neck like a camel and spots. The name first appeared in English in 1785.


Although Camelopardalis is the 18th largest constellation, it is not a particularly bright constellation, as the brightest stars are only of fourth magnitude. In fact, it only contains 4 stars brighter than magnitude 5.0.

The celestial sphere facing away from the galactic plane is where Camelopardalis is in, which means that there are many distant galaxies visible within its borders. Some notable deep sky objects include:

  • NGC 2403 is a galaxy in the M81 group of galaxies, located approximately 12 million light-years from Earth.
  • NGC 1502, which is a magnitude 6.9 open cluster about 3,000 light years from Earth contain 45 members that are bright.
  •  NGC 1569, a dwarf irregular galaxy, is a magnitude 11.9 starburst galaxy is about 11 million light years away.
  • NGC 2655 is a large lenticular galaxy with visual magnitude 10.1.

Make sure to check out other articles on the site, including a brief introduction to constellations, other constellation articles, and more!

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