Ken's Cancer Cascade -- Asterism in Cancer
The near Full Moon would rise too soon for me to haul out one of my larger telescopes. Yet the
sky was clear, so I hated the idea of wasting what little dark time I had.
The March 2021 issue of Sky & Telescope featured an article by Ken Hewitt-White called “All
Around the Beehive”. One of the objects mentioned in the article was “Ken’s Cancer
Cascade”. I had not heard of this asterism before, nor had I ever seen it on any of my star
Ken’s Cancer Cascade is only 4 degrees southeast of the bright star Pollux in Gemini, so
finding the asterism’s location was not a challenge. I first tried locating it with my 7 x 42
binoculars, but it remained hidden. I then pulled out my airline travel telescope, an 85mm
refractor, and tried again. This time it fell into view.
This quaint alignment of stars did not at first impress me, but after spending a few minutes with
it and after tracing the cascade of stars using Ken’s photograph in his article, I started to warm
up to the complicated asterism. I then decided to draw it -- which ended up taking me over an
hour. I enjoyed doing it. My interpretation of the asterism’s line-of-stars varies a bit from that
presented in the article, but it is close. By the time I finished the drawing the moon was making
itself noticeable on the eastern horizon and it was time to haul in the little telescope from the
deck (only took a minute) and call it an evening.