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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Corvus & Crater

CORVUS the Crow and CRATER the Cup are two small, neighboring constellations. From a Northern Hemisphere perspective, Corvus is west of Crater. Both constellations are north of an extremely long, dim constellation called Hydra; they are also south of Virgo, while Crater is southwest of another small constellation: Sextans. There are several galaxies and other interesting cosmic phenomena in Corvus and Crater. The spectacular Antennae Galaxies in Eastern Corvus (comprised of galaxies NGC 4038 and NGC 4039) are famous in astronomy because the two galaxies are colliding beautifully and forming one large galaxy. Illustrated by Roen Kelly, both constellation maps below are from the Astronomy Magazine's website (

Corvus constellation map — image

Brightest Star: Gienah (Gamma γ Corvi)
Second Brightest Star: Kraz (Beta β Corvi)
Galaxies: Antennae Galaxies*, NGC 4027^, and NGC 4802.
Planetary Nebula: NGC 4361*

* - National Optical Astronomy Observatory (USA) photos
^ - Australian Astronomical Observatory photo

Crater constellation map — image

Brightest Star: δ Crateris (3.6 apparent magnitude)
Second Brightest Star: γ Crateris (4.1 apparent magnitude)
Galaxies: NGC 3511, NGC 3513, NGC 3672, NGC 3887, and NGC 3962

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Blog Background

The background has three Hubble Space Telescope images, which are accessible at this Hubble webpage:

— LH 95 is a star-forming region in the Large Magellanic Cloud, Dorado constellation.

— Ant Nebula (also called Menzel 3) is an aptly-named planetary nebula located in the constellation Norma.
— Egg Nebula (also called CL 2688) is a protoplanetary nebula in the constellation Cygnus.

HubbleSite Image Links: LH 95, Ant Nebula, and Egg Nebula