A constellation can be defined as a group of stars. These stars are arranged in a specific pattern. There are a total of 88 known constellations and out of which 12 are the zodiac constellation. The Cancer Constellation is one those 12.
It is named after the crab. It is one of the dimmest constellation and most of the time it cannot be seen by naked human eye. Spring is the best time to see it in Northern Hemisphere and autumn in the Southern Hemisphere. These are the times when it can be seen clearly. It is located from 6 degrees north to 33 degrees north.
Quick Facts: –
- This constellation has the Leo Constellation to its East, the Gemini Constellation to its West, The Lynx constellation in the North and the Hydra and the Canis Minor in the south.
- Although the symbol of Cancer is a crab it doesn’t appear like a crab, even remotely.
- The brightest star in the Cancer Constellation is β Cnc at magnitude 3.5. This star has an orange hue and is about 290 light years away from the Earth.
- β Cnc is also known as Al Tarif. It is around 50 times larger than our Sun.
- The Tropic of Cancer is a line of latitude that marks the most northerly point at which the Sun can be viewed directly overhead. It is named after the constellation.
- This Constellation was recorded by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy in the 1100s.
- It is the 31st large constellation that covers an area of 506 square degrees.
- This constellation appears more like an inverted ‘Y’.
- There is a cluster of stars in this constellation, known as the Beehive Cluster. It is approximately 577 light years away from the Earth.
- This cluster looks like a swarm of bees.
- In Babylonian times, around 3,000 years ago, the Cancer Constellation was known as ‘The Crayfish’.