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Coming to know Corvus the Crow

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Tonight for May 18, 2014

One of my favorite constellations, little squarish Corvus the Crow, can be found in the south after sunset at this time of year. It’s not far from the bright star Spica – and, in 2014, the red planet Mars. Learn more about how to find Spica and Saturn here.

Once you find Spica and Mars in spring 2014, you’ll recognize the constellation Corvus. It’s always near the star Spica on the sky’s dome. It’s recognizable for its compact, boxy shape.

Spica is a whirling double star

Corvus is an easy constellation to pick out in the sky. In Greek mythology, Corvus was seen as the cupbearer to Apollo, god of the sun. In ancient Israel, Corvus wasn’t a crow. Instead, it was seen as a raven. In China, this grouping of stars had more distinction as an Imperial Chariot, riding on the wind.

Guide to the May 2014 planets

Corvus is a friendly sight in the heavens. Along with all the stars, Corvus’s stars will be found a bit farther west at nightfall in the coming weeks and months as Earth moves around the sun. Check it out now and watch for it in the next few months. The bright star Spica – near Corvus on our sky’s dome – will always be there to guide your eye. And in 2014, you can use Spica to find the planets Mars and Saturn.

Let the planet Mars and the star Spica help guide you to the planet Saturn. The planets and zodiacal stars, such as Spica and Zubenelgenubi, are always found near the ecliptic  - the pathway of the planets

Let the planet Mars and the star Spica help guide you to the planet Saturn. The planets and zodiacal stars, such as Spica and Zubenelgenubi, are always found near the ecliptic – the pathway of the planets

Bottom line: Use the star Spica – and in 2014 the planet Mars – to introduce yourself to the constellaltion Corvus the Crow.