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 -? (like Io or Callisto or Argo), which have a genitive ending -?s.
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.
The constellation Dorado as it can be seen by the naked eye.
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.
Because Dorado contains part of the Large Magellanic Cloud, it is rich in deep sky objects. The Large Magellanic Cloud, 25,000 light-years in diameter, is a satellite galaxy of the Milky Way Galaxy, located at a distance of 179,000 light-years. It has been deformed by its gravitational interactions with the larger Milky Way. In 1987, it became host to SN 1987A, the first supernova of 1987 and the closest since 1604. This 25,000-light-year-wide galaxy contains over 10,000 million stars. All coordinates given are for Epoch J2000.0.
NGC 2074 (RA 05h 39m 03.0s, Dec -69° 29? 54?) is an emission nebula.
NGC 2080, also called the "Ghost Head Nebula", is an emission nebula that is 50 light-years wide in the Large Magellanic Cloud. It is named for the two distinct white patches that it possesses, which are regions of recent star formation. The western portion is colored green from doubly ionized oxygen, the southern portion is red from hydrogen alpha emissions, and the center region is colored yellow from both oxygen and hydrogen emissions. The western white patch, A1, has one massive, recently formed star inside. The eastern patch, A2, has several stars hidden in its dust.
Tarantula Nebula is in the Large Magellanic Cloud, named for its spiderlike shape. It is also designated 30 Doradus, as it is visible to the naked eye as a slightly out-of-focus star. Larger than any nebula in the Milky Way at 1000 light-years in diameter, it is also brighter, because it is illuminated by the open star cluster NGC 2070, which has at its center the star cluster R136. The illuminating stars are supergiants.
NGC 2164 (RA 05h 58m 53s Dec -68° 30.9′) is a globular cluster.
N44 is a superbubble in the Large Magellanic Cloud that is 1,000 light-years wide. Its overall structure is shaped by the 40 hot stars towards its center. Within the superbubble of N44 is a smaller bubble catalogued as N44F. It is approximately 35 light-years in diameter and is shaped by an incredibly hot star at its center, which has a stellar wind speed of 7 million kilometers per hour. N44F also features dust columns with probable star formation hidden inside.