Cancer Constellation Myths and Facts

Cancer: The Crab

Pronunciation: CAN-ser
Cancer, The Crab
Cancer as depicted by Johann Bayer in his Uranometria (1603). Source image provided by — Barry Lawrence Ruderman Antique Maps Inc.
Cancer Constellation Profile
Abbreviation: Cnc Genitive: Cancri
Origin: Ancient Location: Northern Hemisphere
Best View (North): Spring Best View (South):
Bordering Constellations: Lynx, Gemini, Canis Minor, Hydra, Leo, Leo Minor

The Myth Behind the Constellation Cancer

When Hercules was fighting the Lernaean Hydra as the second of his Twelve Labors, Hera sent a huge crab to assist the Hydra by snapping at Hercules’ heels.  Hercules crushed the crab and Hera placed it in the heavens as the constellation Cancer.

Cancer Constellation Points of Interest

Interesting Objects in the Constellation Cancer
Name Messier NGC Type Visibility
Beehive Cluster M44 NGC 2632 Open Cluster Naked-Eye
M67 NGC 2682 Open Cluster Binoculars

Bright Stars in Cancer

These are no stars in Cancer with a magnitude of 3.0 or brighter.