Universe Guide

Crater, The Cup Constellation

Crater Constellation Star Map

Crater (Pronounciation:Cray-ter, Abbrev:Crt, Latin:Crateris) is a constellation, one of 88 constellations that the night sky is divided into. The sky is not divided up equally between the constellations. Crater takes up 282.398 sq. degrees of the night sky which equates to 0.68% of the night sky. Crater is the 53rd largest in terms of size in the night sky.

The constellation name means The Cup . 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.

There are 9 stars that make up the main constellation. The hipparcos satellite scanned and detailed 572 stars. There are 17 stars that can be seen with the naked eye in the constellation on a very clear night sky.

Crater is not a member of the Zodiac group of twelve constellations that appear when the Sun sets. Crater is an equatorial constellation that can be seen by countries nearest the Equator.

There are 8 Extrasolar Planets (Exoplanets) in this constellation that are detailed on this site. There is a dedicated page for exoplanets in Crater.

There are no 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.

The image at the top right of this page was generated using Night Vision, a free to use and download application by Brian Simspon.

Distance to Crater

You can't just go to one location and arrive at the constellation because the constellation is made up of stars at different locations and different distances. The nearest main star in the constellation is at a distance of 82.32 light years and the furthest main star is a distance of 376.20 light years. The average distance to the main stars is 240.93 light years.

Crater Star Facts

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.

HIP 54532, Crater's Nearest Star

The nearest star to Earth is HIP 54532 which is roughly about 35.07 Light Years from the Earth. The nearest star to the Earth with an exoplanet is HD 98649 which is about 135.45 Light Years.

HIP 56025, Crater's Furthest Star

The furthest star that is located in the constellation is HIP 56025 and it is 108721.1 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.

Labrum, Brightest Star in Crater

The brightest star in Crater is Labrum and is located about 57.27 light years from the Sun. The star has a apparent magnitude of 3.56 but an absolute magnitude of -0.22 when the star is viewed from a distance of 10 Parsecs or 32.6 Light Years. The star is only recognised as being Delta Crateris rather than having Alpha status.

HD 100343, Crater's Dimmest Visible Star

The dimmest star that can be seen in Crater with the naked eye is HD 100343. The dim star has an apparent magnitude of 5.94. 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.

Crater Mythology

Crater is a cup that Corvus the crow used to fetch water for his master Apollo. One day, Corvus was late in bringing the Crater back because he waited for a twig to ripen which annoyed Apollo. Corvus told Apollo that a serpent attacked him which he used as an excuse for being later but one that didn't go down too well with Apollo.

Meteor Showers Radiating from Crater

There are 8 Meteor Showers that occur during the year within this constellation based on information gathered from Adam Mickiewicz University (Poland). The list below are major ones and which I have a date period for.

NameActivityPeak ActivityClosest Star
Eta Craterids11-Jan - 22 Jan16/17 JanEta Crateris

List of Main Stars in Crater

The following list contains the stars that make up the constellation. For a larger list of stars in the entire constellation area, please visit the For a list of named stars, that is stars that don't start HD or HIP, please visit Crater Star List page.

NameBayerDistance (Lt.Yr.)Right AscensionDeclinationSpectral TypeColour
AlkesAlpha Crateris159.1810h 59m 46.75-18d 17` 56.8K1IIIOrange
Al SharasBeta Crateris340.1111h 11m 39.49-22d 49` 32.2A1VWhite
Gamma CraterisGamma Crateris82.3211h 24m 52.98-17d 41` 02.5A9VWhite
LabrumDelta Crateris185.7411h 19m 20.52-14d 46` 44.6K0IIIOrange
Epsilon CraterisEpsilon Crateris376.2011h 24m 36.61-10d 51` 33.8K5IIIOrange
Zeta CraterisZeta Crateris352.9911h 44m 45.76-18d 21` 02.2G8IIIYellow
Eta CraterisEta Crateris251.4811h 56m 00.98-17d 09` 02.9A0VWhite
Theta CraterisTheta Crateris280.4511h 36m 40.95-09d 48` 08.1B9.5VnBlue/White
Lambda CraterisLambda Crateris139.8611h 23m 22.07-18d 46` 47.6F3IVYellow/White

Crater Facts

Is a Zodiac Sign No
Brightest StarLabrum
Area282.398 sq. deg.
Percentage of Night Sky0.68%
Size Position53rd
Hemisphere Equatorial
Site Exoplanet Count8
Meteor Shower Count8
Nearest StarHIP 54532
Nearest Star with Exoplanet(s)HD 98649
Brightest StarLabrum
Dimmest StarHD 100343
Furthest StarHIP 56025
Bright Star Count17
Hipparcos Star Count572
Main Star Count9
Messier Deep Space Object Count0
Bordering / Neighbouring / Surrounding ConstellationsLeo

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

List of Deep Space Objects (Galaxies, Nebulas, Supernovas, etc) in Crater

NameTypeDistanceDeclinationRight Ascension
NGC 3546Galaxy in a Group of Galaxies-13 22 50.0911 09 46m 769

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