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Cancer Constellation

Cancer (Pronounciation:Can-sir, Abbrev:Cnc, Latin:Cancri) is a constellation, one of 88 constellations that the night sky is divided into. The sky is not divided up equally between the constellations. Cancer takes up 505.872 sq. degrees of the night sky which equates to 1.23% of the night sky. The constellation gets its name as it name means The Crab . The constellation is one of the original constellations that was devised by the Ancient Greco-Egyptian astronomer Ptolemy who lived between 90 A.D. and 168 A.D.

Cancer is a member constellation of the Zodiac grouping, a group of 12 star signs that astrologers use to predict someones future based on their date of birth and which constellation appeared when the Sun set. The Zodiac year may be divided up equally between the twelve signs but when they appear in the night sky no longer conforms to the Zodiac calendar. Cancer is an equatorial constellation that can be seen by countries nearest the Equator.

The brightest star in Cancer is Altarf. There are 13 Extrasolar Planets (Exoplanets) in this constellation that are detailed on this site.

Cancer Star and Deep Space Object Count

The number of stars that have been catalogued as part of the Hipparcos Star Catalogue from Cancer is 1186. The number of stars that are of magnitude 6.0 or lower in the constellation is 48. The number of stars in the constellation that make up the outline is 5.

There are 2 deep space objects that were identified by Charles Messier in this constellation. There are no non-Messier deep space objects in this constellation that are covered at present on this site.

Stars of Interest

The nearest star to Earth is HIP 41824 which is roughly about 36.09 Light Years from the Earth. The nearest star to the Earth with an exoplanet is Copernicus which is about 40.25 Light Years. The furthest star that can be located in the constellation is HIP 44539 which is located about 163081.7 Light Years away from the Sun. The furthest figure is derived from either the 1997 or 2007 Hipparcos star catalogue parallax figure and it has been known to produce distances that are wrong.

The dimmest star that can be seen in Cancer with the naked eye is 5 Cancri. The dim star has an apparent magnitude of 5.99. The dimmest star that a person is able to see with their naked eye is 6.0 magnitude based on the table in the reference. Ref: University of Michigan

The caveat of these stars are that they are catalogued on this site. If you know of a star that is nearer or further then do let me know in the comments and I'll add it to the site. The stars mentioned are from the Hipparcos catalogue or have been added because of their special status.

Legend of the constellation

Cancer was a crab that Hera sent to make things harder for Hercules . It had little effect on the warrior as he fought Hydra for the second labour.

Meteor Showers

There are 18 Meteor Showers that occur during the year within this constellation based on information gathered from Adam Mickiewicz University (Poland). The ones listed as the ones I've been able to find a date range for. For others if you have the time, you can visit the AMU site, obtains the SL value then use IMO tables to calculate the date. A lot of the Meteor Showers are weak and you need to do a lot of stargazing to spot them.

NameActivityPeak ActivityClosest Star
Delta Cancrids14-Dec - 14 Fen17-JanAsellus Australis
Tau CancridsOct 9-25Oct 17Tau Cancri

Cancer Facts

Is a Zodiac Sign Yes
Brightest StarAltarf
Area505.872 sq. deg.
Percentage of Night Sky1.23%
Size Position31st
Hemisphere Equatorial
Site Exoplanet Count13
Meteor Shower Count18
Nearest StarHIP 41824
Nearest Star with Exoplanet(s)Copernicus
Dimmest Star5 Cancri
Furthest StarHIP 44539
Bright Star Count48
Hipparcos Star Count1186
Main Star Count5
Messier Deep Space Object Count2
*Non-Messier Deep Space Object Count0
Bordering / Neighbouring / Surrounding ConstellationsLynx
Canis Minor
Leo Minor

*Note: The number of Non-Messier Deep Space Object Count relates to how many are covered on this site not how many there are.

Cancer Constellation Map

Cancer Constellation Star Map

The map was generated using Night Vision, an awesome free application by Brian Simpson.

List of Stars with Exoplanets in Cancer

StarDistance (Lt. Yrs.)Exoplanet CountDeclinationRight Ascension
Copernicus40.255+28d 19` 53.008h 52m 36.13
HD 73534264.311+12d 57` 38.208h 39m 15.87
HD 77065103.481+21d 27` 16.409h 00m 47.28
HD 79498150.371+23d 22` 33.309h 15m 09.48
HIP 41378381.035+10d 04` 49.308h 26m 27.88

List of Named Stars in Cancer without Extrasolar Planets

As there's so many stars in the cosmos, not all the stars are listed here. The site has lots of stars not listed so if your star isn't listed and you know the Henry Draper or Hipparcos ID, type https://www.universeguide.com/star/ then followed by the HIPNNNNNN or HDNNNN where NNNNN is the number part of the name. The stars that I do list have either a traditional name, a bayer or other classification name.

StarDistance (Lt. Yrs.)DeclinationRight Ascension
1 Cancri465.95+15d 47` 25.407h 56m 59.47
1 Leonis Minoris406.69+32d 48` 07.308h 38m 19.00
12 Cancri260.93+13d 38` 27.408h 08m 42.44
15 Cancri683.78+29d 39` 23.708h 13m 08.87
2 Leonis Minoris1221.59+32d 30` 56.408h 39m 31.87
20 Cancri384.17+18d 19` 56.208h 23m 21.87
21 Cancri888.73+10d 37` 55.608h 23m 55.21
24 Cancri260.10+24d 32` 03.708h 26m 39.82
25 Cancri146.59+17d 02` 47.908h 25m 49.99
27 Cancri901.00+12d 39` 17.508h 26m 43.95
28 Cancri445.58+24d 08` 42.208h 28m 36.80
29 Cancri343.33+14d 12` 39.108h 28m 37.35
3 Cancri793.58+17d 18` 31.408h 00m 47.31
3 Leonis Minoris528.63+32d 43` 38.508h 39m 56.37
34 Cancri539.11+10d 03` 57.708h 32m 39.87
35 Cancri661.59+19d 35` 24.308h 35m 19.47
36 Cancri488.27+09d 39` 20.108h 37m 05.79
37 Cancri365.24+09d 34` 28.708h 38m 05.19
38 Cancri577.28+19d 46` 42.508h 39m 42.68
39 Cancri608.51+20d 00` 28.108h 40m 06.44
4 Cancri476.15+25d 05` 22.008h 01m 43.77
4 Leonis Minoris404.17+31d 56` 31.108h 40m 18.31
40 Cancri587.68+19d 58` 16.208h 40m 11.47
42 Cancri535.57+19d 43` 09.608h 40m 43.23
44 Cancri726.42+18d 09` 02.008h 43m 08.36
45 Cancri926.60+12d 40` 51.108h 43m 12.34
46 Cancri590.88+30d 41` 51.908h 45m 21.42
49 Cancri423.04+10d 04` 54.208h 44m 45.04
5 Cancri540.01+16d 27` 19.208h 01m 30.29
50 Cancri176.02+12d 06` 36.308h 46m 56.06
52 Cancri516.08+15d 59` 57.808h 51m 10.83
53 Cancri886.31+28d 15` 33.008h 52m 28.60
54 Cancri124.97+15d 21` 01.708h 51m 01.53
57 Cancri461.33+30d 34` 45.008h 54m 14.70
60 Cancri695.44+11d 37` 33.808h 55m 55.56
61 Cancri181.10+30d 14` 01.508h 57m 58.63
66 Cancri466.61+32d 15` 08.309h 01m 24.13
67 Cancri189.19+27d 54` 10.009h 01m 48.88
7 Cancri668.37+22d 04` 14.908h 03m 50.50
70 Cancri637.04 +27d 53` 53.909h 04m 09.87
71 Cancri672.50+17d 23` 24.509h 05m 45.54
75 Cancri101.14+26d 37` 48.009h 08m 47.42
78 Cancri705.98+17d 28` 11.009h 09m 02.34
79 Cancri368.13+21d 59` 47.109h 10m 20.86
8 Cancri214.58+13d 07` 06.108h 05m 04.51
80 Cancri392.49+18d 02` 39.009h 11m 56.93
81 Cancri66.41+14d 59` 43.609h 12m 17.87
82 Cancri607.38+14d 56` 29.509h 15m 13.88
83 Cancri132.59+17d 42` 20.409h 18m 58.91
Acubens188.32+11d 51` 28.008h 58m 29.20
ADS 728456.31+28d 33` 42.309h 17m 53.42
Altarf303.41+09d 11` 08.408h 16m 30.95
Asellus Australis130.57+18d 09` 17.508h 44m 41.11
Asellus Borealis181.20+21d 28` 06.908h 43m 17.21
BR Cancri608.51+19d 31` 06.408h 37m 40.73
BY Cnc451.12+18d 56` 03.908h 42m 10.83
Chi Cancri59.59+27d 13` 07.008h 20m 03.87
EP Cancri556.59+19d 34` 49.308h 40m 56.32
Epsilon Cancri586.62+19d 32` 41.408h 40m 27.03
Eta Cancri298.41+20d 26` 28.608h 32m 42.52
FZ Cancri613.09+18d 08` 06.108h 59m 10.76
Iota Cancri A331.13+28d 45` 36.008h 46m 41.83
Iota Cancri B279.01+28d 45` 54.608h 46m 40.00
Kappa Cancri531.21+10d 40` 05.609h 07m 44.82
Lambda Cancri457.45+24d 01` 20.508h 20m 32.15
Mu1 Cancri744.67+22d 38` 07.808h 06m 18.40
Mu2 Cancri75.96+21d 34` 55.108h 07m 45.84
Nu Cancri392.49+24d 27` 10.609h 02m 44.27
Omega1 Cancri662.93+25d 23` 34.208h 00m 55.86
Omicron1 Cancri149.14+15d 19` 21.808h 57m 14.91
Omicron2 Cancri150.44+15d 34` 52.408h 57m 35.16
Phi1 Cancri373.18+27d 53` 37.908h 26m 27.73
Phi2 Cancri275.71+26d 56` 07.708h 26m 47.08
Psi1 Cancri844.98+25d 50` 40.408h 10m 13.12
Psi2 Cancri134.89+25d 30` 29.408h 10m 27.23
R Cancri2064.32+11 d 43` 34.608h 16m 33.83
RS Cancri467.95+30d 57` 47.609h 10m 38.81
RX Cancri931.90+24d 44` 05.408h 14m 43.54
RZ Cancri1424.29+31d 47` 44.608h 39m 08.54
S Cancri950.91+19d 02` 03.008h 43m 56.15
Sigma1 Cancri210.29+32d 28` 26.808h 52m 34.62
Sigma2 Cancri194.26+32d 54` 38.108h 56m 56.63
Sigma3 Cancri295.71+32d 25` 07.108h 59m 32.68
Tau Cancri273.63+29d 39` 15.209h 08m 00.07
Tegmen81.81+17d 38` 53.308h 12m 12.71
Theta Cancri414.97+18d 05` 40.408h 31m 35.77
Upsilon1 Cancri249.93+24d 04` 52.408h 31m 30.57
Upsilon2 Cancri555.64+24d 05` 05.708h 33m 00.14
V Cancri+17d 17` 07.008h 21m 42.91
VZ Cancri509.63+09d 49` 27.308h 40m 52.14
X Cancri1117.00+17d 13` 52.508h 55m 22.88
Xi Cancri373.18+22d 02` 43.609h 09m 21.53

Objects of Interest (Galaxies, Nebulas, Supernovas, etc) in Cancer

NameTypeDistanceDeclinationRight Ascension
M67 Open ClusterOpen Cluster2.61-2.93+11:4908h 50m 4
Praesepe, the Beehive ClusterOpen Cluster0.577+19:5908h 40m 1

Cancer Constellation's Star Breakdown

Type Breakdown

KLight Orange Star 3,700 - 5,200k355
GYellow 5,200 - 6,000k252
FYellow-White 6,000 - 7,500k237
AWhite 7,500 - 10,000k212
MRed Dwarf Star <3,700k55
BBlue-White 10,500 - 30,000k31

Size Breakdown

IIINormal Giant104
VMain Sequence81
IIBright Giant7
IabIntermediate Luminous Supergiant1

Breakdown of Carbon Stars by Type

RR-Type Carbon Star4
SS-Type Carbon Star1
CC-Type Carbon Star1

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