Cassiopeia: The Queen

CASS-ee-uh-PEE-uh

Cassiopeia, The Queen

Cassiopeia as depicted by Johannes Hevelius in his Firmamentum Sobiescianum sive Uranographia (1687). Source image provided by www.RareMaps.com — Barry Lawrence Ruderman Antique Maps Inc.

Cassiopeia Constellation Profile
Abbreviation: Cas Genitive: Cassiopeiae Origin: Ancient
Location: Northern Hemisphere Size/Area: 598 sq. deg. Size Rank: 25
On Meridian: 9pm November 20th Best View (North): Autumn Best View (South):
Bordering Constellations: Cepheus, Lacerta, Andromeda, Perseus, Camelopardalis

 

The Myth Behind the Constellation Cassiopeia

Cassiopeia was the wife of King Cepheus of Aethiopia. Her pride got the best of her when she bragged that her daughter Andromeda was more beautiful than the Nereids, part of Poseidon’s retinue. As punishment for this affront, Poseidon sent a sea monster Cetus to destroy Aethiopia. The only way to stop the destruction was to sacrifice their daughter Andromeda to the monster, so they chained her to a rock on the shore. Just as Cetus approached to claim his sacrifice, Perseus, returning from his slaying of Medusa, saw the beautiful Andromeda, and saved her from the beast. Aethiopia was saved. Upon Cassiopeia’s death, Poseidon placed her in the stars, where she was chained to her throne and must spend half of the year upside-down as further punishment.

Cassiopeia Constellation Points of Interest

Interesting Objects in the Constellation Cassiopeia
Name Messier NGC Type Visibility
M52 NGC 7654 Open Cluster Binoculars
M103 NGC 581 Open Cluster Binoculars

 

Bright Stars in Cassiopeia

These are the stars in Cassiopeia with a minimum magnitude of 3.0.

Name Bayer Name Magnitude Color Luminosity Distance
Tsih Gamma Cassiopeiae 2.15  Blue 5,402 suns 613 ly
Schedar Alpha Cassiopeiae 2.24  Orange 1,199 suns 229 ly
Caph Beta Cassiopeiae 2.28  Yellow-White 28 suns 54 ly
Ruchbah Delta Cassiopeiae 2.66  White 63 suns 99 ly