Zeta Cancri (Tegmine) -- Multiple Star in Cancer
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The Shell of the Crab
Zeta Cancri is a pleasing triplet star in my 155mm refractor.  Its name, Tegmine, means the
“Shell of the Crab”. The separation between the main two stars is only 1.1 arcsecond so it may
be challenging for smaller telescopes.  Having a steady atmosphere does help as does high
magnification. This fine multiple star is an easy star hop from the
Beehive Cluster (M44).

The famous astronomer S.W. Burnham once wrote of Zeta Cancri as “one of the most
remarkable of all known multiple star systems”.  There are at least 5 stars in the system and
another two suspected.  The new book by Kanipe and Webb “Annals of the Deep Sky Vol. 3”
devotes 8 pages to unraveling the history and complexity of this star system – an interesting