The constellation Cancer is the faintest of the twelve signs of the zodiac and can be hard to find from light-polluted suburban skies. Look between Jupiter (to the left, above) and the two brightest stars of Gemini, Castor and Pollux (to the upper right, above.) The constellation contains two open star clusters of note. The brighter, larger and better cluster, M44 (the Praesepe or Beehive Cluster) can be found at the very center of the constellation and is represented by the circle. M67 appears just to the right of the star Acubens (the smaller circle to the lower left in the image above.) M44 can be seen with the naked eye under clear, dark skies and both are well worth a look with binoculars. M44 can be spectacular at low power through a telescope.
(Click the image to enlarge.)
Images Courtesy of Mobile Observatory.
Asteroid 4 Vesta leaves Sagittarius and enters Capricornus. (Magnitude 7.5. Not visible.)
The constellation Cancer (the Crab) culminates at midnight tonight. (See image and description above.)
Events in bold involve objects and/or events that are easily visible with the naked eye.
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Learn more about every upcoming astronomical event in 2015 An Astronomical Year (Kindle eBook) and The Astronomical Almanac (2015-2019) (Kindle eBook) and The Astronomical Almanac (2015-2019) (Paperback Edition).
The Amateur Astronomer’s Notebook allows astronomers to log 150 observing sessions and includes an appendix of hundreds of suggested deep sky objects.