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Corvus

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Corvus is a constellation in the southern sky.


Corvus
Latin name Corvus
Latin genitive Corvi
International abbreviation Crv
Number of stars 53
Symbology Raven


Remarkable objects

History and mythology

The constellation Corvus is adjacent to the constellations Crater (the cup) and Hydra (the water-snake); three of them appear together in a myth told in Ovid's Fasti, a series of poems based on the days of the Roman calendar, which often tell stories about stars or constellations that are visible on a particular date. This myth is associated with February 14. The god Apollo told the Crow to take a golden cup and fetch water from a stream. On the way, the Crow saw a tree where unripe figs were growing. He forgot his orders and perched on the tree until the figs were ripe, then ate them. He then grabbed a water-snake and brought it back to Apollo, claiming that the snake had kept him from getting water from the stream. Apollo saw through the lie, laid a curse of thirst on the Crow, and put both animals and the cup into the sky as constellations.[1]

The Crow appears in another story (found in Ovid's Metamorphoses, Book 2, lines 531-632): In a classic case of "blaming the messenger," Apollo curses the bird by turning it feathers from white to black after the Crow, acting as Apollo's spy, reported that the god's lover Coronis had cheated on him. Other versions of the story also say that the Crow had been able to talk in human language before Apollo cursed him.[2]

References

  1. An English translation of this poem appears in A.S. Kline, trans., "Fasti: 'On the Roman Calendar,'" Poetry in Translation, online at http://www.poetryintranslation.com/PITBR/Latin/OvidFastiBkTwo.htm#_Toc69367691.
  2. An English translation of this poem appears in A.S. Kline, trans., "Ovid: Metamorphoses: A Complete English Translation and Mythological Index," Poetry in Translation, online at http://www.poetryintranslation.com/PITBR/Latin/Metamorph2.htm#_Toc64106123.



88 Official Constellations by IAU

AndromedaAntliaApusAquariusAquilaAraAriesAurigaBoötesCaelumCamelopardalisCancerCanes VenaticiCanis MajorCanis MinorCapricornusCarinaCassiopeiaCentaurusCepheusCetusChamaeleonCircinusColumbaComa BerenicesCorona AustralisCorona BorealisCorvusCraterCruxCygnusDelphinusDoradoDracoEquuleusEridanusFornaxGeminiGrusHerculesHorologiumHydraHydrusIndusLacertaLeoLeo MinorLepusLibraLupusLynxLyraMensaMicroscopiumMonocerosMuscaNormaOctansOphiuchusOrionPavoPegasusPerseusPhoenixPictorPiscesPiscis AustrinusPuppisPyxisReticulumSagittaSagittariusScorpiusSculptorScutumSerpensSextansTaurusTelescopiumTriangulumTriangulum AustraleTucanaUrsa MajorUrsa MinorVelaVirgoVolansVulpecula