Cancer (The Crab) Constellation
Cancer (pronounced ˈkænsər) is the Latin name of a large constellation (in fact it extends itself for about 33 degrees across the sky) situated close to the celestial equator. As such, it is at least partly visible from both hemispheres in certain times of the year.
In English language this constellation is also known as "The Crab" while in astronomical texts and literature this constellation is often abbreviated as "Cnc" (according to the standard of the International Astronomical Union - IAU) or as "Canc" (according to a naming convention used by NASA).
The Latin genitive of the constellation name is "Cancri" (pronounced ˈkæŋkraɪ) and it is used to identify some of the brightest stars in this constellation based on the Bayer or Flamsteed star naming convention. For instance: α Cancri (the brightest star of Cancer based on the Bayer catalog); or 23 Cancri (the 23th star in the constellation of Cancer based on the Flamsteed catalog).
Sky Chart of Cancer Constellation
Here we provide a simplified sky chart of the Cancer constellation. Alternatively it is possible to locate Cancer in the night sky using our Online Interactive Planetarium.
Visibility of Cancer Constellation
Today's Cancer rise, transit and set times from Greenwich, United Kingdom are the following (all times relative to the local timezone Europe/London):
The rise and set times provided here are just directional indications and they refer to a point approximately placed at the center of the constellation. In case of very large constellations (like Cancer actually is) these times can have little relevance.
Bright Stars in Cancer Constellation
The table below lists the top 20 brightest stars in the Cancer constellation. See also the complete list of 108 stars brighter than magnitude 6.5 (approximate) in the constellation of Cancer. Click on each star to see more details about it.
|HR Number(*)||Star designation||Proper name||Visual magnitude||Color||Notes|
|HR3249||β Cancri||Tarf||3.52||⬤||Variable; Double;|
|HR3461||δ Cancri||Asellus Australis||3.94||⬤||Double;|
|HR3475||ι Cancri||4.02||⬤||Variable; Double;|
|HR3572||α Cancri||Acubens||4.25||⬤||Variable; Multiple;|
|HR3449||γ Cancri||Asellus Borealis||4.66||⬤||Multiple;|
|HR3623||κ Cancri||5.24||⬤||Variable; Multiple;|
|HR3357||θ Cancri||5.35||⬤||Variable; Multiple;|
|...go to the complete list of 108 bright stars in the constellation of Cancer|
(*) HR stands for Harvard Revised Bright Star Catalogue, which is also known as the Yale Catalogue of Bright Stars.
Deep Sky Objects in Cancer Constellation
The table below lists the 20 brightest deep sky objects in the Cancer constellation. See also the complete list of 354 deep sky objects in the constellation of Cancer. The list includes objects from the Messier, New General Catalogue (NGC) and Index Catalogue (IC).