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A Complete Guide to the Solar System and the Night Sky
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public Observing fromLocation: Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt
north SunriseRise: 7:40  
clear_day Transit: 11:47  
SunsetSet: 15:53 south
sunny DaytimeWhat's Visible Now?
All Constellations » Cancer » 

τ Cancri (tau Cancri)

Altitude: -5.6°   Azimuth: 337.1°   Direction: North-North-West

τ Cancri is a giant star in the constellation of Cancer.

τ Cancri visual magnitude is 5.43. Because of its reltive faintness, τ Cancri should be visible only from locations with dark skyes, while it is not visible at all from skyes affected by light pollution.

The table below summarizes the key facts about τ Cancri:


τ Cancri (tau Cancri) is below the horizon from Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt.

Altitude: -5.6°
Azimuth: 337.1°
Direction: North-North-West

Celestial coordinates and finder chart of τ Cancri

τ Cancri is situated north of the celestial equator, as such, it is more easily visible from the northern hemisphere. Celestial coordinates for the J2000 equinox as well as galactic coordinates of τ Cancri are provided in the following table:

09h 08m 00s
+29° 39’ 15”

The simplified sky map below shows the position of τ Cancri in the sky:

Finder chart τ Cancri (tau Cancri) star
Simplified finder chart for τ Cancri (tau Cancri).

Visibility of τ Cancri from your location

Location: Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt
Latitude: 51° 28’ 47” N
Longitude: 0° 00’ 00” E
Timezone: Europe/London

Today's τ Cancri (tau Cancri) rise, transit and set times from Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt are the following (all times relative to the local timezone Europe/London):

Azimuth: 60.3°
Max altitude: 68.2°
Azimuth: 299.7°

Digitized Sky Survey image of τ Cancri

The image below is a photograph of τ Cancri from the Digitized Sky Survey 2 (DSS2 - see the credits section) taken in the red channel. The area of sky represented in the image is 0.5x0.5 degrees (30x30 arcmins). The proper motion of τ Cancri is -0.032 arcsec per year in Right Ascension and 0.002 arcsec per year in Declination and the associated displacement for the next 10000 years is represented with the red arrow.

Image of τ Cancri (tau Cancri) star
DSS2 image of τ Cancri. The red arrow shows the motion of τ Cancri during the next 10000 years (-5.33 arcmin in Right Ascension and 0.33 arcmin in declination);

Distance of τ Cancri from the Sun and relative movement

τ Cancri is distant 259.55 light years from the Sun and it is moving towards the Sun at the speed of 13 kilometers per second.

79.62 pc
259.55 ly
-13 km/s
-0.032 arcsec/year
0.002 arcsec/year

Spectral properties of τ Cancri

τ Cancri belongs to spectral class G8 and has a luminosity class of III corresponding to a giant star.


The red dot in the diagram below shows where τ Cancri is situated in the Hertzsprung–Russell diagram.

HR Diagram
H-R diagram showing the position of τ Cancri. Attribution: Richard Powell / CC BY-SA

Alternative designations of τ Cancri

τ Cancri
(tau Cancri)