Name a Star in the Corvus Constellation

Modified: July 1, 2023     Author: International Star Registry

International Star registry 45th anniversary logo surrounded by stars.

A small constellation, the “crow” is situated on the eastern part of Hydra. It contains five easily visible stars. it is home to a very famous pair of interacting galaxies, the Antennae Galaxies. Four bright stars in Corvus form a shape in the stars known as the Sail. This is also called “Spica’s Spanker”. The Constellations nearby are Crater, Hydra, and Virgo. 

Symbol: Crv  

Right Ascension: 12:23  

Declination: -19  

Diameter (°): 8  

Area (square °): 184  

Opposition: Mar 27  

Size Rank: 70th  

Brightness Rank: 47th  

Genitive: Corvi 




Major or notable stars in Corvus 

Gienah – γ Corvi (Gamma Corvi) 

 Kraz – β Corvi (Beta Corvi) 

Algorab – δ Corvi (Delta Corvi) 

Minkar – ε Corvi (Epsilon Corvi) 

Alchiba – α Corvi (Alpha Corvi) 

η Corvi (Eta Corvi) 

VV Corvi 


Deep Sky Objects in Corvus 


Antennae Galaxies (NGC 4038/NGC 4039, Caldwell 60/61) 

NGC 4027 (Arp 22) 

NGC 4361 


Mythology of the Constellation Corvus 

In one myth, Corvus was the Crow of Apollo who was cursed due to his wicked words. The crow, it is said, was not of the purest white as it had once been. Because of this, the gods argued and changed it from nondescript gray to black. 


“The raven once on showy plumes was drest, 

White as the whitest dove’s unsullied breast, 

Fair as the guardian of the capitol, 

Soft as the Swan; a large and lovely fowl; 

His tongue, his prating tongue, had changed him quite 

To sooty blackness from the purest white.” 


According to this Greek fable, Apollo fell in love with Thessalian princess Coronis. She was the daughter of Phtegyas and mother of Esculapius (Asclepius).  Although she was pregnant with his child, he was suspicious of her fidelity so he sent the crow to spy on her.  The crow could see that Coronis had fallen in love with Ischys the Thesalian, and immediately snitched to Apollo. Some legends say Apollo, and others say his twin sister Artemis, shot Coronis with an arrow. Although Coronis was killed instantly, her son Asclepius was taken from her womb and survived to become the God of Medicine. 


“The god was wroth; the colour left his look, 

The wreath his head, the harp his hand forsook; 

His silver bow and feather’d shaft he took, 

And lodged an arrow in the tender breast, 

that had so often to his own been prest.” 


As seems to have been habitual in those days, Corvus, the crow, was rewarded by being placed among the constellations. 

 Another legend has it that the constellation takes its name from the daughter of Coronaeus, King of Phocis, who was transformed into a crow by Minerva to rescue the maid from Neptune’s hot pursuit. The following, from an eminent Latin poet of the Augustine age, is her own account of the metamorphosis as translated into English verse by Mr. Joseph Addison: 


“For as my arms I lifted to the skies, 

I saw black feathers from my fingers rise; 

I strove to fling my garment on the ground; 

My garment turned to plumes, and girt me round: 

My hands to beat my naked bosom try; 

Nor naked bosom now nor hands had I: 

Lightly I tripp’d, nor weary as before 

Sunk in the sand, but skimm’d along the shore; 

Till, rising on my wings, I was preferr’d 

To be the chaste Minerva’s virgin bird.” 


Q. What is the brightest star in Corvus? 

A. Gienah – γ Corvi (Gamma Corvi) Gamma Corvi is the brightest star in Corvus. 


Q. What is the meaning of the constellation Corvus? 

A. In English, the constellation is known as the Crow. If you own a bird as a pet, you may want to name a star in Corvus for him. 


Q. When is Corvus best visible?  

A. Corvus is best seen from the Northern Hemisphere in the spring 

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