Night Sky Handbookpast & present

Night Sky Handbook: Cancer

by Maxwell Tielman


Like Leo, Cancer’s designation as a constellation finds its roots in Greek Mythology’s tale of Hercules. In one version of the story, Hera dispatched the crab Karkinos to distract Hercules during a battle, but Hercules kicked it into the sky, where it would live on as a series of stars. The constellation is comprised of five main stars, most visible during the month of March.

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