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Constellation Corona Borealis (Northern Crown)

Constellation Corona Borealis (Northern Crown)

The Northern Crown (lat. Corona Borealis) is a small but striking constellation in the northern sky. The name is inspired by its shape, as its main stars form a semicircular arc. It is the counterpart of the Southern Crown, Corona Australis.

How to spot Corona Borealis

With an area of 179 square degrees, it extends in the northern hemisphere and is best seen in the spring. It lies between Bootes and Hercules.


The narrative about the mythological origin of the constellation deals with the hero Theseus and Ariadne, daughter of King Minos of Crete. Theseus was trapped in the labyrinth of the Minotaur to be sacrificed to him. Ariadne, however, handed him a thread that freed him from the maze. After the joint escape Theseus left her on the island of Naxos, where she was taken by Dionysus for a wife. At the wedding, he threw her jeweled crown into the sky, which was immortalized there as a constellation.

Interesting Facts

The shape of the constellation inspired many peoples to interpret the representation. The Greeks recognized early a crown, as such it was included in the 48 constellations of antiquity. The Arabs saw in it the bowl of a beggar, the Celts a castle, and the Chinese a chain of money. The Australians identify the constellation with a boomerang.