|Winter: Orion Canis Major Canis Minor Monoceros Lepus Eridanus Taurus Auriga Camelopardalis Lynx Gemini Cancer|
|Spring: Hydra Sextans Crater Corvus Leo Leo Minor Ursa Major Ursa Minor Canes Venatici Coma Berenices Virgo Bootes|
|Summer: Draco Corona Borealis Hercules Ophiuchus Serpens Libra Scorpius Sagittarius Scutum Aquila Sagitta Vulpecula Lyra Cygnus|
|Autumn: Andromeda Perseus Pegasus Cassiopeia Cephus Cetus Lacerta Delphinus Equuleus Capricornus Aquarius Pisces Aries|
|Southern Skies: Centaurus Crux Lupus Corona Australis Piscis Australis Sculptor Tucana Fornax Dorado Columba Puppis Carina Vela|
Dorado is the Latin name for the dolphinfish (Coryphaena hippurus), commonly known as the mahi mahi, a large, predatory, blunt-nosed fish abundant in tropical waters, and prized for its flavorful meat. In life a brilliant rainbow of pastel greens, blues, and yellows, its skin quickly fades to a dull grey when caught and killed. Its figure was added to the southern constellations by Dutchman Frederick de Houtman during his journey to the southern seas of the Indian Ocean in 1603, and as you can see in the star chart below, the stars really do form the shape of this distinctive fish.
Dorado is a southern constellation not visible north of 16 degrees north latitude. This means that northern observers miss out on one of the most impressive sights in the night sky: the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC). The LMC is an irregular dwarf galaxy that has the distinction of being the closest observable galaxy to Earth. At a distance of 180,000 light years, it is one of the most distant objects visible with the naked eye. In the extraordinary photo below, both the Large Magellanic Cloud and its little sister the Small Magellanic Cloud are caught hanging in the predawn sky above the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope (VLT) array, 8,500 feet (2,600 m) high in the Andean mountains. The LMC sits prominently in the upper left center, with the SMC to the right.
There is a smaller, closer dwarf galaxy in Sagittarius, and another in Canis Major, but both of these are hidden from view on the other side of the Milky Way, and both are in the process of being pulled in and absorbed by our Milky Way galaxy. The LMC is 14,000 light years across, spilling into the adjacent constellation of Mensa. Being so close and accessible, the LMC provides a unique opportunity for astronomers to examine the dynamics at work inside a galaxy. It has been studied closely, and much has been discovered, including 60 globular clusters, 400 planetary nebulae, and 700 open clusters. In the ESO photo below the LMC is in the upper left. In the lower right is the SMC, and globular cluster NGC 104, both in the constellation Tucana.
The largest and most conspicuous object inside the LMC is NGC 2070, The Tarantula Nebula. An area of vigorous and violent star formation 1,000 light years across, the nebula is truly vast, and has been described by some as a frightening sight.