By Jake Riley, SR Senior Editor

Fun Facts

1. Cancer means ‘crab’ in Latin
2. It is one of the dimmest constellations in the Earth’s night sky
3. The Tropic of Cancer is named after this constellation
4. One of the star clusters it hosts has more than 1,000 stars
5. Two of its main stars, Asellus Borealis and Asellus Australis are known as the northern and southern donkey respectively

An overview

The constellation of Cancer makes up an upturned ‘Y’, and is often interpreted as depicting the top-view of a crab. The constellation consists of many stars and other deep-lying objects, most of which are relatively faint, resulting in Cancer being one of the dimmest constellations.

It is one of the 12 Greek Zodiac constellations, though the Chinese depict the very same constellation a bird rather than a crab. It is visible in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres, from late autumn to spring in the former and summer to autumn’s end in the latter.

The myth

In Greek mythology, Zeus had fathered a divine hero named Hercules, who was frequently tormented by his stepmother, Hera. She had made continuous attempts at killing Hercules, but to little avail.

Though he was not successfully murdered by Hera, the torment dished out by his stepmother soon drove Hercules insane. In a crazed frenzy, Hercules killed six of his own sons.

When he regained his senses, Hercules was overcome with remorse, and sought to serve penance by putting himself under King Eurystheus’ control. The King set Hercules a series of labors, with the second being to kill the ferocious Hydra, a multi-headed serpent that dwelled in the swamps surrounding Lake Lerna.

Hera thought this to be the time where her stepson would finally fall, but was unpleasantly shocked as Hercules began slaying the creature with relative ease. She then sent forth a crab to nip at his ankles, in hopes of distracting him, though Hercules simply crushed the crab under his foot before slaying the Hydra.

In honor of the crab’s service, Hera then placed it into the sky, birthing the constellation of Cancer.

The constellation

The Constellation of Cancer is situated in the northern sky’s second quadrant, and is visible between latitudes -60 to +90 degrees. It is surrounded by the constellations of Leo, Hydra, Lynx, Gemini, Canis Minor, and Leo Minor, and is not an exceptionally small nor large constellation.

Of the 10 main stars it consists, there exists five celestial bodies of note: Altarf, the brightest star of Cancer; Acubens, which is also known as Alpha Cancri; Asellus Australis and Borealis, also known as Delta and Gamma Cancri; and Iota Cancri, a two-star system that lies 300 light years from Earth.

Want to learn about other constellations aside from Cancer? Find out more about Leo or Virgo. Alternatively, you can simply click here for a full list of constellations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I really name a star?

Yes, you can! Each order is unique to the Star Register and is recorded in the official Official register of Stars. We are one of the few legitimate Registries using advanced mapping software to assign your order.

What happens when I place my order:

Place your order on our order page and one of our experienced employees will handle everything else for you, this includes:
-Preparing relevant paperwork and electronic transmission of all necessary data to the Star register Database.
-Receipt of the response with the unique coordinates of your star
-Preparation of the star chart with the coordinates
-Preparation of the certificate and the gift Kit.

What's the difference between your different products:

We currently offer three products: (1) Deluxe (2) Supernova and (3) Twin. Each of this has it's own benefits and they can be compared on our homepage comparison chart.

How does the star chart work?

You can use the coordinates listed on your star chart to locate the star in the night sky or by searching our Official register of Stars which shows you a real photo of the star in the night sky.

Can I choose the constellation myself?

Yes, this is possible on the order form.

I can't open my order:

As our orders are digitally delivered, you can either open the kit in your browser or through Adobe Reader.

Is my order unique?

Yes. Every star coordinate is only allocated once, to a unique registration.

Where is my gift pack?

If you haven’t received the digital star pack by email within 24 hours please contact

How long is the delivery time?

We deliver by PDF within 24 hours via email. If you have not received your certificate within that time, please email

Is the star visible?

Yes, the easiest way to find the star is through the Official register of Stars. By entering the name it is easy to view the star in the night sky. However, it is also possible to find the location of the star using a telescope.

I am looking for general information about the product (cost, shipping method, payment method).

Please see our gift kit page.

I can’t manage to place an order (technical problem)!

Please send an email to

Can i have the details of my certificate changed?

Once we send the gift kit pack we aren't able to change it.