Leo - Leo the Lion

  • Cnc - Cancer the Crab

    IAU Constellation

    Size

    31 of 88

    Regions

    Intro and Visual description

    A faint constellation between Gemini and Leo.

    Cancer is included in the ancient star catalogs of Eudoxos of Knidos, Aratos of Soli, and Ptolemy.

    Sent by Juno to kill Hercules, who squashed it with his foot.

     

    Asterisms

    Asses and the Manger

     

    Star Clusters

    M44, Praesepe or Beehive (Galactic cluster), mag. 3.9.
    M67 (Galactic cluster), mag. 6.1.

     

    Galaxies

    Look with binoculars for the Beehive star cluster, faintly visible to the naked eye.

     

     

     

     

  • Crt - Crater the Cup

    IAU Constellation

    Size

    53 of 88

    Regions

    Intro and Visual description

    Dim stars on the back of Hydra; shape of a cup.

    Crater is included in the ancient star catalogs of Eudoxos of Knidos, Aratos of Soli, and Ptolemy.

    The drinking cup of Apollo, god of art and wisdom, who carried the sun across the sky every day. When Corvus, Apollo’s crow, refused to go for water to ease his thirst, Apollo placed the cup of water just in front of him where he could see it but never drink from it, though he chase it endlessly.

  • Hya - Hydra the Water Snake

    IAU Constellation

    Size

    1 of 88

    Intro and Visual description

    Hydra the Water Snake is included in the ancient star catalogs of Eudoxos of Knidos, Aratos of Soli, and Ptolemy.  It is the largest and longest of the constellations, stretching from Cancer to Libra.

    Its brightest star is Alphard, which has an orangish tint.  Several constellations and asterisms ride on its back; from head to tail they are Sextans the Sextant, Crater the Cup, Corvus the Crow, and Noctua the Owl.

    Star Clusters

    M48 (Galactic cluster), mag. 6.0.
    M68 (Globular cluster), mag. 8.2.

  • Leo - Leo the Lion

    IAU Constellation

    Size

    12 of 88

    Intro and Visual description

    East of the Gemini twins lies Leo the Lion. Find the bowl of the Big Dipper. From the two stars on the handle-side, trace a line back to Leo and its bright star Regulus.
    Regulus, the star of kings, is the point beneath a backward question mark. This backward question mark, or sickle, represents Leo’s mane.

    His flank is a triangle of stars farther east.

  • Sex - Sextans the Sextant

    IAU Constellation

    Size

    47 of 88

    Intro and Visual description

    A small, dim constellation lying between Leo and Hydra.

    Named after the huge sextant used by Hevelius in Danzig (now Gdansk). One of the seven constellations created by the Polish astronomers Elisabeth and Johannes Hevelius, in 1687.

  • UMa - Ursa Major the Big Bear

    Size

    3 of 88

    Regions

    Intro and Visual description

     

    Ursa Major or the Big Bear is the third largest of the 88 constellations. Seven stars form a familiar group of stars, or an "asterism" within the constellation. In America they are called the "Big Dipper" or "Drinking Gourd," and in Britain the "Plough" or the "Wain." The Big Dipper is one of the most easily recognizable groups of stars in the sky. It is referred to as circumpolar because it never completely sets below the horizon, but is visible in northern skies year-round.
    Three stars make up the Big Dipper’s handle, and four stars make its bowl.

  • Vir - Virgo the Maiden

    IAU Constellation

    Size

    2 of 88

    Intro and Visual description

    Continue past Arcturus on the curve from the Dipper’s handle ("Arc to Arcturus, then speed on to Spica"). To "Speed on to Spica," go the same distance as it took to reach Arcturus. If it’s not below the horizon, Spica is the brightest star of the constellation Virgo the Maiden. Although Virgo is the second largest constellation in the sky, the rest of its stars are faint. Yet don’t be surprised if you often see a bright visiting planet nearby.

    Virgo is included in the ancient star catalogs of Eudoxos of Knidos, Aratos of Soli, and Ptolemy.