Constellation Crater (Cup)

Crater: IAU Constellation Map [150]


Crater is an inconspicuous constellation just west of Corvus. The three brightest stars form a right triangle with the hypotenuse in the south. The area of the constellation is 282 square degrees and the center culminates around midnight on March 12th. [9, 15]

Stars with Proper Names [154]
α Crt Alkes
Data for constellation Crater [150]
IAU NameCrater
IAU GenitiveCrateris
IAU Abbr.Crt
English NameCup
Season (47° N)January … May
Right Ascension10h 51m 06s … 11h 56m 24s
Declination-25° 11' 45" … -06° 39' 44"
Area282 deg2
Neighbours (N↻)Leo, Sex, Hya, Crv, Vir


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

Mythology and History

Crater is an ancient constellation that represents the golden chalice of Apollo and is associated with the neighboring Corvus in the legend. In the course of the Christianization of the sky, the constellation was renamed to one of the stone water jugs of Cana, but also to the chalice of the passion of Christ, in vain. [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;