Cancer Constellation Facts

Cancer Constellation Facts
The zodiac has twelve constellations (which are defined areas of the celestial sphere). The Cancer constellation, which is also the fourth sign of the zodiac, lays between the constellations Leo (the lion) and Gemini (the twins). It looks similar to an upside Y in the night sky and it can be very difficult to see it with the naked eye because it is so faint. However it is visible in both the Southern and Northern hemispheres during the right seasons. The Latin name for Cancer is 'crab' which is also its mascot in the astrological calendar. The Cancer sign looks like the number 6 laying down horizontally over the number 9 lying horizontally and facing up.
Interesting Cancer Constellation Facts:
The Cancer constellation was recorded by the Greek astronomer Ptolemy in the 1100s.
The Cancer constellation is the 31st largest constellation, covering an area of 506 square degrees.
The constellations neighboring the Cancer constellation are Lynx, Leo Minor, Leo, Hydra, Gemini and Canis Minor.
The brightest star in the Cancer constellation is Al Tarif, Beta Cancri.
The Zodiac constellations include Pisces, Aquarius, Capricornus, Sagittarius, Scorpius, Libra, Virgo, Leo, Gemini, Taurus, Aries and Cancer.
The Beehive Cluster (a cluster of stars) in the Cancer constellation is approximately 577 light years from Earth. This cluster is one of the nearest to earth in the solar system. It got its name because it looks similar to a swarm of bees.
The Cancer constellation is one of the dimmest constellations making it often difficult to see.
From late autumn to spring the Cancer constellation can be seen in the Northern hemisphere.
From summer to autumn the Cancer constellation can be seen in the Southern hemisphere.
The Tropic of Cancer, which is also often referred to as the northern tropic, is named after the Cancer Constellation. The Tropic of Cancer is the most northern latitude that is reached by overhead sun.
3,000 years ago, in Babylonian times, the Cancer constellation was called 'The Crayfish'.
The main stars in the Cancer constellation include Al Tarif, Acubens, Asellus Australis, Asellus Borealis, and Iota Cancri.
The star Asellus Borealis is also known as the 'northern donkey,' and the star Asellus Australis is also known as the 'southern donkey.'
In ancient Greek mythology the Cancer constellation represents a giant crab that was sent to attack Hercules while he was fulfilling one of his 12 labors. The 12 labors were meant to be penance for Hercules because he was tricked into killing his family. Hercules killed the crab and then completed the 2nd labor by killing Hydra - a water serpent. One version of the story states that Hercules kicked the giant crab all the way to the stars, while another version states that he stepped on it and crushed it. Yet another story states that he killed it with his club.
People born between June 22nd and July 22nd are born under the Cancer sign. Cancer people tend to be very devoted to their family and their home, and are even believed to be 'crabby' at times.

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