Corvus the crow takes flight at night

2014-05-15T00:00:00Z 2014-07-03T11:07:31Z Corvus the crow takes flight at nightBy Tim Hunter Special to the Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Corvus the Crow is a small constellation, but it has bright stars and is easy to recognize once found. A favorite of mine, Corvus mainly consists of four bright stars that form a top squished square. How it is supposed to resemble a crow is anybody’s guess, but it is an ancient constellation coming down to us from myth and legend.

Astronomical twilight ends a little before 9 p.m., which is a good time this weekend to look directly south to find Corvus about 35 to 40 degrees above the horizon. Above Corvus is bright red Mars and to the left (east) of Corvus is Spica in Virgo the Virgin. Further east is Saturn.

The ancients were certainly quite familiar with the pesky crow that ate their seeds. Crows and their cousin, the raven, are ubiquitous, often annoying, but we must admit they are most clever and durable. Enjoy Corvus and let it become a familiar friend in the spring and summer night sky.

If you look north around 9:30 p.m., you will see the Big Dipper upside down pouring its heavenly good will onto the north star and the northern horizon. The handle of the Big Dipper consists of three bright stars and curves toward the east pointing to the bright orange star Arcturus in Bootes the Herdsman. Arcturus is the fourth brightest star in the sky and not too far away from our buddy Corvus.

Contact Tim Hunter at skyspy@azstarnet.com

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