Cepheus: The King

SEE-fyoos/SEE-fee-us/SEF-ee-us

Cepheus, The King

Cepheus as depicted by Johann Bayer in his Uranometria (1603). Source image provided by www.RareMaps.com — Barry Lawrence Ruderman Antique Maps Inc.

Cepheus Constellation Profile
Abbreviation: Cep Genitive: Cephei Origin: Ancient
Location: Northern Hemisphere Size/Area: 588 sq. deg. Size Rank: 27
On Meridian: 9pm October 15th Best View (North): Autumn Best View (South):
Bordering Constellations: Ursa Minor, Draco, Cygnus, Lacerta, Cassiopeia, Camelopardalis

 

The Myth Behind the Constellation Cepheus

Cepheus was the King of Aethiopea, husband to Cassiopeia and father to Andromeda. Cepheus traveled to the oracle of Ammon to find out how to save his country from the sea-monster Cetus, a punishment sent by Poseidon after Queen Cassiopeia bragged that their daughter was more beautiful than the Nereids. The oracle told him that the only way to rid his country of the creature was to give it his daughter Andromeda as a sacrifice. King Cepheus dutifully chained his daughter to a stone on the shore and the monster came to claim his tribute. Perseus, returning from defeating the Gorgon Medusa, saw the beautiful princess and saved her from her terrible fate by killing Cetus. Later, during a fight between Perseus and Cepheus’ brother, Phineus, over the hand of Andromeda, Cepheus was turned to stone. He was placed amongst the stars by Poseidon.

Cepheus Constellation Points of Interest

Interesting stars and objects.

Bright Stars in Cepheus

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

Name Bayer Name Magnitude Color Luminosity Distance
Alderamin Alpha Cephei 2.45  White 21 suns 49 ly