Cancer

The Crab

Cancer the Crab

According to the Greek myth, Cancer was put in the night sky by a goddess named Hera. Hera promised to kill Heracles. ( Otherwise known as Hercules.) Hera tried to kill Hercules many times and with many different methods, but because of his brute strength she failed. Hera cast a spell of madness on Hercules, causing him to commit a great offense. To be forgiven he needed to accomplish 12 difficult tasks. One of the tasks was that he had to kill the nine-headed hydra. During the battle between Hercules and the Hydra, Hera sent an enormous crab to help the serpent. But because Hercules was so strong, he killed it by stepping on its shell with his foot. As a reward for its labor, Hera placed the image of the crab in the night sky.

Facts

Cancer is visible in both the Northern and Southern hemisphere.

In the Northern hemisphere the constellation can be seen from late autumn to spring.


  • In the Northern hemisphere the constellation can be seen from late autumn to spring.
  • In the Southern hemisphere Cancer can be seen in the summer and autumn months, note that it will appear upside down.
  • Most of the stars that make up Cancer are quite faint, as a result it is one of the dimmest constellations.
  • The brightest star in the constellation is Altarf, which is over 500 times more luminous than the sun.
  • In Latin cancer means crab.
  • The Tropic of Cancer is named after the constellation.
  • Created by Kira Baldus