Located in the Northern Sky, Cancer is a Latin word which means ‘crab’. Greek astronomer Ptolemy catalogued cancer constellation in the 2nd century. It is the 31st largest constellation in the sky and can be located at latitudes between +90° and -60°. Cancer is the weakest of the 13 constellations - Canis Minor, Gemini, Hydra, Leo, Leo Minor, and Lynx are its neighboring constellations.
Interesting myth about cancer constellation
There is an interesting myth about cancer constellation. It is believed that cancer is linked to Hercules and his Twelve Labors. Hercules bitter enemy, Hera sent a crab to him so that he can be distracted during the battle. The crab had a poisonous breath. When the crab attacked Hercules, he kicked it so hard that it was sent to the stars.
Another myth goes like this. Hera placed the crab into a dark sky to give tribute to its efforts for trying to kill Hercules.
Fascinating facts about Cancer Constellation
Cancer has six deep sky objects.
The Beehive cluster is open star cluster which is locate nearest to our solar system. Also known as Praesepe, the Beehive cluster contains at least 1,000 stars and looks like a tiny faint cloud.
On the other hand, Messier is the oldest clusters and contains 100 stars that are more or less similar to the Sun.
William Herschel discovered NGC 2775 in 1783. It is a spiral galaxy with multiple spiral arms and an apparent magnitude of 11.03. It is approximately 55.5 million light years from Earth.
NGC 2535 & NGC 2536
NGC 2535 and NGC 2536 are spiral galaxies. . NGC 2535 has an apparent magnitude of 16.9 while NGC 2536 has a magnitude of 14.6.
It is a barred spiral galaxy which was discovered by Friedrich Wilhelm Herschel in 18th century. It belongs to the NGC 2841 group of galaxies.
It is a grand barred spiral galaxy with an apparent magnitude of 13.01. It is approximately 93 million light years distant.
Cancer constellation in Astrology
Cancer has unique position in astrology. Its position as a constellation of the zodiac has remained steadfast over so many centuries. People born between June 22nd and July 22nd fall in this zodiac sign.
People born with this zodiac sign are moody and very sensitive. They are fiercely independent and defiant, but do not shy away from supporting others.
A downside to their independent personality is that they constantly seek attention from friends and family. They tend to value relationships and love to spend time with their loved ones. For this reason, they are the happiest and most satisfied lot. But, their overly sensitive personality often triggers insecurity.
Cancer can be easily seen between latitudes 90 degrees and minus 60degrees. During spring season, cancer is visible in the Northern Hemisphere while it can be seen in the in the Southern Hemisphere during autumn. If you wish to see Cancer, keep your eyes on sky at the night sky.