a spring constellation the crab

a spring constellation the crab插图


What Constellation is the crab?

Cancer Constellation: Facts About the Crab. Cancer, which is Latin for crab, is the dimmest of the 13 constellations of the Zodiac, having only two stars above the fourth magnitude.

What are the northern spring constellations?

The most prominent northern spring constellations are Ursa Major, Botes, Leo, Cancer, Virgo and Hydra. The constellations Centaurus and Crux, which dominate the night sky in the southern hemisphere, can be seen from tropical latitudes north of the equator, but are invisible to observers living north of latitudes 25N and 20N respectively.

What does the constellation Cancer mean?

The constellation of Cancer is one of the twelve zodiac sign star constellations, belonging to those born between June 21st and July 22nd. It’s a water sign, and it is often associated with the moon, emotions, and kindness.

What Constellation has open clusters of stars?

The small faint constellation Cancer is rich in open clusters and double stars. (Image credit: Starry Night Software) Cancer lies between Leo, the lion, and Gemini, the twins.

Locating Cancer the Crab

Cancer lies between Leo, the lion, and Gemini, the twins. It is almost impossible to see Cancer as a crab with the naked eye or even binoculars. It looks more like a faint, upside-down Y.


Perhaps the most famous exoplanet in the constellation is 55 Cancri e, a super-Earth that was (for a time) identified as a " diamond world ." The original observations in 2010 suggested that the host star had more carbon than oxygen in its interior.


The constellation of Cancer represents the giant crab that attacked Hercules during the second of the 12 labors he performed as penance for killing his family. It was sent by the jealous goddess Hera to thwart Hercules as he battled the water serpent Hydra, but he killed it with his club.

Ursa Major

Ursa Major, or the Great Bear, is one of the most recognizable star patterns. It is visible all year long in the north and is known for the Big Dipper asterism, composed of its seven brightest stars. Merak and Dubhe, the stars marking the front of the Dipper’s bowl, are known as the Pointers as they show the direction to Polaris.


Boötes is another prominent constellation. Its name comes from a Greek word meaning ‘herdsman’ or ‘plowman’. Interestingly, Homer mentions Boötes in his Odyssey as a celestial reference for navigation. It contains the fourth-brightest star in the night sky, the orange giant Arcturus.


Cancer is one of the twelve zodiac constellations that can be seen in the Northern Hemisphere during the spring months. Its name is Latin for ‘crab’. Like many of its celestial counterparts, Cancer got its name from a mythological beast killed by Hercules.


Containing a total of 283 stars and occupying over 3% of the night sky, Hydra is the biggest constellation that is seen from Earth. It’s also the longest star pattern, meandering across 95 degrees of the sky, and it takes Hydra nearly seven hours to fully rise into view. Its shape reminds of a snake.


Virgo is the second-largest constellation in the sky. It represents the deity Persephone, the goddess of harvest and fertility. Besides Spica, its brightest star (magnitude 0.97), Virgo contains several other bright stars: Zavijava, Porrima, Auva, and Vindemiatrix.

Use a Spring Constellation Map

If you still find it difficult to locate constellations in the night sky, a spring constellation map will be very helpful. It’s a good idea to buy a printed map or find one in a book on astronomy, but there are a lot of digital star maps available on the internet.


With its 1,303 square degrees and a total of 283 stars, Hydra takes up a bit more than 3% of the night sky, making it the largest pattern of stars observed from Earth. Its position in the sky makes it especially distinguishable during the month of April for northern hemisphere observers.


Sprawling in the sky to a total of 1,294 square degrees, Virgo is only a tad smaller than Hydra, and the largest zodiacal constellation. However, with 169 stars, it contains considerably less celestial objects than Hydra.

Ursa Major

The Ursa Major, or the Great Bear, is one of the best known constellations in the sky. Although it is visible to northern observers throughout the year, it is especially prominent in springtime, specifically during the month of April.


Boötes is another of the six major spring constellations, and it is easily distinguishable during the month of June. With its name meaning “herdsman” in ancient Greek, Boötes is a very popular constellation both among astronomy enthusiasts and in popular culture.


Meaning “the crab” in latin, Cancer is a spring constellation also included in the Zodiac, and it is found between Leo and Hydra. Not surprisingly, in ancient Greek tradition Cancer also represents another mythological beast slain by Hercules.

The Constellation of Cancer

The constellation of Cancer is one of the twelve zodiac signs, and its name means ‘crab’ in Latin. That is why it is represented as a crab, despite it being hard to picture one when you look at it in the night sky.

How to find Cancer in the night sky

The constellation of Cancer is one of the dimmest in the sky, as none of its stars are especially bright. That is why it can be quite tricky to find if you don’t know exactly where to look.

The brightest stars in the constellation of Cancer

The Cancer constellation has a total of 10 named stars, only two of which are bright enough to be above a fourth magnitude, which explains why it’s so dim and hard to spot in the night sky.


The Cancer constellation, being one of the twelve zodiac signs, is known as the crab. It’s a medium-sized constellation situated in the Northern celestial hemisphere.

Popular Springtime Constellations and Asterisms

In ancient times, our ancestors looked towards the heavens and noticed that with every season, new groupings of stars would appear in the sky. The predictable cycle of observable constellations repeated year after year as Earth continued on its orbit around the Sun.

Top Springtime Celestial Objects

Now that we have identified some of the well-known springtime constellations and asterisms, let’s take a look at several of the most popular observable springtime celestial objects visible in most small to mid-aperture telescopes from a modest 60mm up to 8” in aperture.

Final Thoughts

Springtime offers you and your family a great opportunity to view many new celestial targets as they come into view. As temperatures begin to warm, it’s easier to venture outside to discover what the night sky has to offer–safely, of course.