Constellation Corvus (Crow)

Corvus: IAU Constellation Map [150]


The constellation Corvus is located southwest of the bright star Spica in Virgo. Although the stars are not particularly bright, they form a distinctive shape of a tall, rather rectangular trapezoid. The constellation occupies an area of 184 square degrees in the sky and its center culminates around midnight on March 28th. [9, 15]

Stars with Proper Names [154]
α Crv Alchiba, Alchita, Al Minliar Al Ghurab, Al Chiba
β Crv Kraz
γ Crv Gienah Ghurab, Gienah
δ Crv Algorab, Algores, Algoral, Algorel
ε Crv Minkar
Data for constellation Corvus [150]
IAU NameCorvus
IAU GenitiveCorvi
IAU Abbr.Crv
English NameCrow
Opposition26 March
Season (47° N)January … May
Right Ascension11h 56m 22s … 12h 56m 40s
Declination-25° 11' 45" … -11° 40' 39"
Area184 deg2
Neighbours (N↻)Vir, Crt, Hya

Deep-Sky Object Descriptions


Constellation Corvus
Constellation Corvus: Illustration from «Uranometria» by Johann Bayer, copper engraving by Alexander Mair, 1603 [28]

Mythology and History

The origin of this constellation can be traced back at least to the ancient Greeks. According to legend, Apollo sent the raven to fetch fresh spring water with a golden cup. Instead, however, the raven feasted on figs, and when he returned he carried the water snake in his clutches. He croaked outrageously that this would have prevented him from fulfilling his sacred duty. However, Apollo recognized the lie and banished all three to the sky, where Corvus and Crater (cup) lie on the back of the hydra (water snake). In addition, the raven was condemned to eternal thirst - an "attempt to explain" the croaking cries of these birds.

According to another legend, a white raven brought Apollo the news that Coronis, his lover, had been unfaithful to him. Apollon is said to have blackened the raven out of anger. In the Greek world of legends, Apollo was always closely associated with ravens, as he himself had turned into a raven in the conflict between the gods and the titans.

The Indians from the Rio Negro river basin in northern Brazil see a flying heron in the raven. [7, 20]


  • [7] «Der grosse Kosmos-Himmelsführer» von Ian Ridpath und Wil Tirion; Kosmos Verlag; ISBN 3-440-05787-9
  • [9] «Drehbare Sternkarte SIRIUS» von H. Suter-Haug; Hallwag-Verlag, Bern
  • [15] «Hartung's Astronomical Objects for Southern Telescopes» by David Malin and David J. Frew; Melbourne University Press 1995; ISBN 0-522-84553-3
  • [20] «Sternbilder und ihre Mythen» von Gerhard Fasching; Zweite, verbesserte Auflage; Springer Verlag Wien, New York; ISBN 3-211-82552-5 (Wien); ISBN 0-387-82552-5 (New York)
  • [28] «Uranometria omnium asterismorum continens schemata, nova methodo delineata aereis laminis expressa» Johann Bayer, Augsburg, 1603; DOI:10.3931/e-rara-309
  • [150] IAU: The Constellations, 11. Oktober 2020;
  • [154] Yale Bright Star Catalog, 15. Oktober 2020;