History of the Constellations

Stars and Constellations

Cancer

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Contents of this page: | Description | Skylore | Modern Culture | Origin and History | Asterisms | Star Clusters | Galaxies | Submit new info... |

Images (at bottom of page): | Cancer Chart: (Figure 1) | Hyginus, 1482, page E3v: (Figure 2) | Ptolemy, 1541-const, page Cancer: (Figure 3) | Bayer, 1661, page zAa: (Figure 4) | Bayer, 1697, page H4r: (Figure 5) | Bayer, 1697, page H4v: (Figure 6) | Bayer, 1697, page I1r: (Figure 7) | Bayer, 1697, page I1v: (Figure 8) | Bode, 1801, page r: (Figure 9) | Aspin, 1825, page Cancer: (Figure 10) | Images digitized by Hannah Magruder.

Constellation Data

Description

A faint constellation between Gemini and Leo.

Skylore and Literature

Sent by Juno to kill Hercules, who squashed it with his foot.

Modern Culture

Origin and History

Cancer is included in the ancient star catalogs of Eudoxos of Knidos, Aratos of Soli, and Ptolemy.

Asterisms

Asses and the Manger

Star Clusters

M44, Praesepe or Beehive (Galactic cluster), mag. 3.9.

M67 (Galactic cluster), mag. 6.1.

Galaxies

Look with binoculars for the Beehive star cluster, faintly visible to the naked eye.

Submit new info...

Many excellent websites provide a variety of information about constellations for amateur astronomers and telescope users (see sidebar links for a few of these). These constellation pages are not intended to duplicate those efforts, but are devoted to two aims: First, they are intended to assist the beginning skywatcher, including students in history of science survey courses, in becoming familiar with Basic Celestial Phenomena (BCP). Second, these pages are devoted to the history of the constellations and the history of astronomy. They are intended to serve as a repository for collaborative use and reference. Do you have additional historical information about the stars or constellation described on this page? Please submit additional information to kmagruder@ou.edu. Submissions will be attributed. Editors for historical information are Kerry Magruder, JoAnn Palmeri, Peter Barker, and Laura Gibbs.

Oklahoma History of Science exhibits: http://hos.ou.edu/exhibits/. Page revised 4/15/04

Bad links, misplaced images, or questions? Contact Kerry Magruder. Thank you.

"If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore, and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown. But every night come out these envoys of beauty, and light the universe with their admonishing smile." R. W. Emerson, Nature

Images

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Cnc Chart
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Hyginus, 1482

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Ptolemy, 1541-const

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Bayer, 1661

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Bayer, 1697

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Bayer, 1697

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Bayer, 1697

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Bayer, 1697

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Bode, 1801

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Aspin, 1825

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Exhibit credit: Kerry Magruder.

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These teaching resources provided by the History of Science Department at the University of Oklahoma.

Unless otherwise indicated, all images courtesy History of Science Collections, University of Oklahoma Libraries. Image Terms of Use.

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