|Winter: Orion Canis Major Canis Minor Monoceros Lepus Eridanus Taurus Auriga Camelopardalis Lynx Gemini Cancer|
|Spring: Hydra Sextans Crater Corvus Leo Leo Minor Ursa Major Ursa Minor Canes Venatici Coma Berenices Virgo Bootes|
|Summer: Draco Corona Borealis Hercules Ophiuchus Serpens Libra Scorpius Sagittarius Scutum Aquila Sagitta Vulpecula Lyra Cygnus|
|Autumn: Andromeda Perseus Pegasus Cassiopeia Cephus Cetus Lacerta Delphinus Equuleus Capricornus Aquarius Pisces Aries|
|Southern Skies: Centaurus Crux Lupus Corona Australis Piscis Australis Sculptor Tucana Fornax Dorado Columba Puppis Carina Vela|
Crater is Latin for goblet, and represents the cup of Apollo. Legend tells us that Apollo sent a crow (Corvus) to fill his cup with water. Getting distracted on the way by a tree laden with figs, the crow made Apollo wait much too long, and blamed his late arrival on a snake that barred his way. Apollo, being a god, knew the truth, and punished the crow by putting it in the sky on the back of Hydra, the fearsome many headed water snake that battled Hercules. Apollo also placed his goblet beside the crow, as an eternal reminder of his misdeed.
Crater is a small constellation, but full of galaxies to challenge backyard astronomers. One of the brightest is the barred spiral galaxy, NGC 3887. It is positioned so that we see it face-on, allowing us to see a great deal of detail in its spiral arms. It has a magnitude of 11.3, and is 43 million light years away.
NGC 3511 and NGC 3513 are a striking pair of spiral galaxies visible together in the same field of view. They are magnitude 11.5 and 12 respectively, 46 million light years away. NGC 3692 is another spiral galaxy, magnitude 11.8, 76 million light years away. The photo below is the spiral galaxy NGC 3981, magnitude 12, 80 million light years away.
There are two stars in Crater that have been found to support planetary systems, but they are both beyond naked eye visibility. For more information see NASA's Planet Quest.