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Multiple realities
(covers information from several alternate timelines)

Canopus (or Alpha Carinae) was the primary of the Canopus planetary system. This system was located in the Alpha Quadrant. The location of Alpha Carinae in the Milky Way Galaxy was depicted on a Federation star chart in 2293. (Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, production art; TNG: "Yesterday's Enterprise", display graphic)

In 2267, on stardate 3046, USS Enterprise helmsman Hikaru Sulu used Canopus as a reference point to plot the location of the Enterprise after it was flung five hundred parsecs by the Metrons. (TOS: "Arena")

In 2367, the star appeared on a chart in Captain Benjamin Maxwell's ready room on the USS Phoenix. (TNG: "The Wounded", display graphic)

In an alternate 2366, Alpha Carinae was marked on a tactical situation monitor showing the fleet deployments in the Federation-Klingon War. (TNG: "Yesterday's Enterprise", display graphic)

Michael Okuda, who created the wall chart "The Explored Galaxy", believed that Canopus and Alpha Carinae were two distinct stars. So, he created two systems, the Canopus and the Alpha Carinae, and located them in separate regions of space. A large, but indeterminate, number of light years separated these two systems from each other. This conflict with real world facts was understandable because a connection between the two was never established in the canon. A planet may be named Canopus III, or Alpha Carinae III, but never as Canopus III and Alpha Carinae III in the same episode. Another example of this splitting of a system into two systems would be repeated with Pollux (Beta Geminorum) with a different result.
"The Explored Galaxy" was a map of charted space in the Alpha Quadrant. Alpha Carinae was located west of the Tholian Assembly, and Canopus III was located between the Assembly and Romulus. Both locations were identified in DS9: "The Search, Part II", "Call to Arms" as being located in this quadrant. This chart was also seen in several Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episodes set in the 24th century, from the year 2364 to 2370. These were TNG: "Conspiracy", "The Measure Of A Man", "The Emissary", "The Mind's Eye", "The Game", and DS9: "In the Hands of the Prophets", "Cardassians".
According to Star Trek: Star Charts (pg. 65). Canopus (or Alpha Carinae) was a star located in the Canopus system. This system was located in or near Federation space, in the Beta Quadrant, in the late 24th century. The primary, Canopus, was a F-class star with a magnitude of -1, which was a hundred times brighter than Sol.

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