|No star of the constellation exceeds the magnitude 3,5.|
|Description||Constellation of the zodiac, through which the Sun transits from the end of July to the beginning of August. In past times the Sun was in Cancer when it was at the maximum north distance from equator (at the summer solstice, on June 21). Today, because of the precession of the equinoxes, the summer solstice is in the near constellation of Gemini; nevertheless the latitude at which the Sun appears to zenith on June 21 is still called Tropic of Cancer.
Cancer is the least bright of all the zodiacal constellations: none of its stars exceeds the fourth magnitude.
Near the center of the constellation there is M44, an open cluster called Praesepe or Beehive: it is constituted by at least 75 stars, all inferior to the sixth magnitude. It is accompanied by two stars which represent two little ass feeding at the manger ("praesepe", exactly): gamma Cancri (Asellus Borealis) and delta Cancri (Asellus Australis).
|The constellation represents the crab which pricked Hercules' foot while the hero was struggling against Hydra that lived in the Lerna swamp. The hero crushed it with his heel, but the goddess Hera, hostile to Hercules, reserved him a little place in the sky.|