Constellations > Raven

Raven is a constellation located in the southern sky and from Latin “Corvus” means “raven / raven”. Displays the sacred bird of Apollo. First appeared in the list of constellations thanks to Ptolemy in the second century. There are not many bright stars or notable objects in it. But a pair of interacting Antenna galaxies (NGC 4038 and NGC 4039) can be distinguished. They are interesting in that they demonstrate what the Milky Way and Andromeda will look like in a future merger.

Constellation raven

An objectDesignationMeaning of the nameObject typeMagnitude
oneGamma Crow“Raven s wing”Blue giant2.59
2Beta CrowNoYellow giant2.65
3Delta Raven“Crow”Blue subgiant2.96
4Epsilon Raven“Crow s Nostril”Red giant3.02
fiveAlpha Crow“Raven s beak”Orange giant4.03

Facts, position and map

With an area of ​​184 square degrees, the constellation Raven is the 70th largest constellation. Covers the third quadrant of the southern hemisphere (SQ3). It can be found at latitudes between + 60 ° and -90 °. Adjacent to Virgo, Hydra and Chalice.

Lat. titleCorvus
Right ascensionfrom 11h fiftym up to 12h fiftym
Declinationfrom -24 ° 30 to -11 ° 00
Square184 sq. degrees
(70th place)
The brightest stars
(value <3m)
  • Hyena (γ Crv) – 2,59m
  • Kraz (β Crv) – 2.65m
  • Algorab (δ Crv) – 2.95m
Meteor showers
  • Corvids
Nearby constellations
  • Virgo
  • Hydra
  • Bowl
The constellation is visible in latitudes from + 66 ° to -90 °.
The best time to watch is March-April.

Accommodates a star with planets and no Messier objects. The brightest star is Gamma Raven with a magnitude of 2.59. There is a meteor shower – Corvids. The constellation is part of the Hercules group along with Centaurus, Chalice, Swan, Hercules, Hydra, Lyra, Shield, Sextant, Chanterelle, Southern Triangle, Serpent, Arrow, Ophiuchus, Wolf, Southern Cross, Southern Crown, Altar and Eagle. Look at the diagram of the constellation Raven on the sky map.

Constellation raven


The raven was Apollo s holy bird. There is a myth that from the very beginning the bird was completely white. God ordered her to keep an eye on Koronis. She was his mistress and gradually lost interest. One day she fell in love with the mortal Ischiah. When the bird told the whole truth, Apollo was so angry that he burned its wings, making it black. God sent Artemis to kill the unfaithful one. At that moment she was pregnant, so before the burning, he cut out her baby Asclepius and gave it to the centaur Chiron. He raised a boy who became a famous healer and was noted as the constellation Ophiuchus.

The Greek version of the raven was taken from the Babylonian “MUL.UGA.MUSHEN”, which usually sat on a snake s tail. The Babylonians associated him with the rain and storm deity Adad, because these stars appeared in the fall before the rainy season in the 2nd millennium.

Main stars

Let s take a closer look at the stars of the constellation Raven with a detailed description and characteristics.

Sail (asterism of the constellation Raven) – 4 brightest stars in Raven: Delta, Gamma, Epsilon and Beta Raven. Together they form the Sail asterism.

Gamma Raven is the first brightest in the constellation, a giant of spectral class B8III. It has an apparent magnitude of 2.59 and a distance of 165 light years. It is believed to be a double star. It shares its traditional name “Gienah” with Epsilon Swan. It is taken from the Arabic phrase al-janāħ al-ghirāb al-yaman – “the right wing of the raven.”

Kraz (Beta Crow) is a bright yellow G-type giant about 140 light years distant. The visual magnitude is 2.60-2.66. It is the second brightest in the constellation. The name Kraz received already in modern times, but there is no information about the origin. The brightness is 160 times higher than that of the sun.

Algorab (Delta Crow) is an A0-class star, 87 light-years from our system. Apparent magnitude – 3.1. The traditional name is taken from the Arabic “al-ghuraab” – “crow”.

Minkar (Epsilon Raven) is a K2 III class star with a visual magnitude of 3.02. It is 303 light years distant. “Minkar” comes from the Arabic “almánxar” which means “raven s nostrils”.

Alchiba (Alpha Crow) is an F0 class dwarf or subdwarf, 48.2 light years distant. A visual magnitude of 4.02 makes it only the fifth brightest in the constellation. It is the third weakest alpha star in the sky. 4 times the size of the Sun. “Alchiba” is Arabic al hibaa, which means “tent”. It is a suspected binary star.

This Raven is the sixth brightest main sequence star of the spectral type F2 V. Slightly more massive and younger than the Sun. It has an apparent visual magnitude of 4.31 and is approximately 59.4 light years distant. It resembles Vega (the brightest in the constellation Lyra), because there is a disk with space debris in its orbit. In fact, Eta Raven even has two of them. The star produces an excess of infrared radiation, which is much higher than that of the usual objects of this class.

VV Crow is a nearby binary star whose objects orbit each other with a period of 1.46 days. It is 280 light years distant. In the last decade, a third companion has been found, about which there is little information yet.

Celestial objects

The Antenna Galaxies (NGC 4038 / NGC 4039, Caldwell 60/61) are a pair of interacting galaxies belonging to the NGC 4038 group (consisting of 13-27 members in the constellations Raven and Chalice).

First discovered in 1785 by British astronomer William Herschel. They are now at the stage of star formation (at a very high speed). They are sometimes also referred to as the “Ring Tail”. The original name “Antenna” got from the shape that resembles the antennae of insects.

Galaxies Antennas: NGC 4038, NGC 4039.

Galaxies Antennas: NGC 4038, NGC 4039.

Two long tails of gas, dust and stars are visible, ejected from the main bodies as a result of interaction. The apparent visual magnitude is 11.2 / 11.1, and the distance from us is 45 million light years. In recent years, two supernovae have been discovered in galaxies: SN 2004GT and SN 2007 sr.

About 1.2 billion years ago, these were completely separate galaxies. NGC 4038 is a barred spiral and NGC 4039 is a spiral galaxy. They approached about 900 million years ago. 300 million years ago, they started the process of ejection of stars and now these streams are so large that they resemble antennas. Over the course of 400 million years, their cores will merge and the pair will become an elliptical galaxy.

NGC 4027 (Arp 22) is a barred spiral galaxy. It has a visual magnitude of 11.7 and a distance of 83 million light years. It is quite interesting as one of the spiral arms extends outward further than the other. Perhaps there was once a collision with another galaxy. It is part of the NGC 4038 group and is located one degree southwest of the Antenna.

NGC 4027

NGC 4027

NGC 4361 is a large planetary nebula that occupies the center of the constellation. It resembles a faint elliptical galaxy in shape. It is 50 in diameter, surrounding the 13th-magnitude star.

You can study the constellation Raven more closely if you use not only our photos, but 3D models and an online telescope. For an independent search, a static or moving map of the starry sky is suitable.

NGC 4361

NGC 4361

Constellations of the spring sky

MarchCancer Dog Lesser Keel Lynx Poop Compass Sails Flying Fish
AprilPump Chameleon Bowl Hydra Lion Little Lion Sextant Ursa Major
MayHounds Dogs Centaurus Hair of Veronica Raven Southern Cross Fly Virgo


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