ι Cancri


Iota Cancri is a yellow giant with a bluish companion: 4.1, 6.0, PA 305 and a wide separation of 31". The binary system is known as Struve 1268.

Wil Tirion calls this star iota1 Cancri in his SkyAtlas; no one else seems to follow suit, so we'll just call it iota Cancri as well.

Iota forms the end (or 'claw') of the upper leg -- the poor beast only has three!

To find iota, place gamma (the northeast corner of the square surrounding the Beehive Cluster) at the bottom of your glasses. Now move due north two fields of view: binoculars. Iota is at the bottom of your viewing field.

This field is full of binary stars appropriate for small to medium telescopes. A fine telescopic prospect is sigma4 Cancri (also called 66 Cancri). This is Struve 1298: 5.9, 8.6; PA 139 and separation 4.1"

Another is just to the southwest of iota. Place iota in the centre of your glasses then move southwest one field and you'll find phi2 Cancri just north of centre. This is a fine binary of equal stars: 6.2, 6.2; PA 216 and separation 5.4"

24 Cancri has similar stars with a slightly wider separation: 6.1, 6.9; 47, 6.1" (and increasing slowly). It's in the same field as phi2, just half a field due south.

With this same binocular field of view, move west nearly one full field, but keeping chi Cancri on the eastern edge: the lovely telescopic binary Struve 1177 comes into view, just southeast of the brighter chi Gemini.

Struve 1177 is a double with nearly equal stars, a white primary and pale blue companion: 6.7, 7.4; 350, 3.4".

Now if you go due east two fields, and south one binocular field, you'll find xi Cancri and nu Cancri. In between these two is the brightish binary Struve 1311. This star has two nearly equal stars: 6.9, 7.1; PA 199 and separation 7.7"

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1999-2014 by Richard Dibon-Smith.