The Constellation Corvus

by Dominic Ford
Corvus Corvus
The constellation Corvus. Roll mouse over to see labels.
Source: Stellarium.

Corvus is a small constellation in the southern sky, nestling to the south of Virgo. Visually, it appears as a trapezoid of second and third magnitude stars not far from Spica, which appears highest in the evening sky in the months around March.

Most of the objects of interest in Corvus are faint. It is home to the merging galaxies NGC 4038 and NGC 4039, collectively known as Arp 244 or the Antennae galaxies. Near the center of the trapezoid lies the tenth-magnitude planetary nebula NGC 4361, sometimes known as the cosmic water sprinkler.

The name ‘Corvus’ is Latin for ‘crow’, the sacred bird of Apollo. The crow is often identified as the bird sent by Apollo with a cup to search for water. The bird became distracted by a fig tree, and delayed returning to Apollo.

The bird returned and lied that a water snake had preventing it from filling the cup, and returned with the snake in its tallons. Apollo saw through the ruse, and cast all three into the sky as Corvus (the crow), Crater (the cup) and Hydra (the water snake).

Date First Appeared
Ancient
Sky Area
0.4% of the sky
183.8 square degrees
Messier Objects
Corvus contains no Messier objects
Caldwell Objects
Corvus contains the following Caldwell objects: C60, C61.
Neighbors
The following constellations neighbor Corvus: Crater, Hydra, Virgo.
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Brightest Objects in Corvus

Stars Open Clusters Globular Clusters Galaxies
Stars Open Clusters Globular Clusters Galaxies
Gienah (mag 2.6) NGC 4038 (mag 10.7)
β-Crv (mag 2.7) NGC 4027 (mag 11.1)
Algorab (mag 3.0) NGC 4782 (mag 11.7)
ε-Crv (mag 3.0) NGC 4783 (mag 11.8)
Alchiba (mag 4.0) NGC 4802 (mag 12.0)
η-Crv (mag 4.3) NGC 4050 (mag 12.0)
HD 107418 (mag 5.1) NGC 4462 (mag 12.0)
ζ-Crv (mag 5.2) NGC 4094 (mag 12.0)
31-Crt (mag 5.3) NGC 4033 (mag 13.0)
3-Crv (mag 5.4) NGC 4039 (mag 13.0)
HD 109272 (mag 5.6) NGC 4114 (mag 13.0)
HD 108821 (mag 5.6) IC 3833 (mag 13.0)
6-Crv (mag 5.7) NGC 4763 (mag 13.0)
HD 109141 (mag 5.7) NGC 4024 (mag 13.0)
HD 106485 (mag 5.8) NGC 4177 (mag 13.0)
HD 30453 (mag 5.8) NGC 4722 (mag 13.0)
HD 110317 (mag 5.9) NGC 4727 (mag 13.0)
HD 107295 (mag 6.0) NGC 4756 (mag 13.0)
HD 110318 (mag 6.0) NGC 4225 (mag 14.0)
HD 109931 (mag 6.0) NGC 4329 (mag 14.0)
TU Crv (mag 6.2) NGC 4714 (mag 14.0)
R-Crv (mag 11.2) IC 3827 (mag 14.0)
NGC 4263 (mag 14.0)
IC 3834 (mag 14.0)
NGC 4726 (mag 14.0)

Ashburn

Latitude:
Longitude:
Timezone:

39.04°N
77.49°W
EDT

Color scheme