The Cassiopeia constellation is visible in the northern sky and looks like a giant “W” or “M”. It’s stars are bright and it is very easy to spot. It sits at the opposite end of the Big Dipper in relation to Polaris. If you were looking at the Big Dipper and made your way to Polaris (the Pole Star) and kept looking further past Polaris approximately the same distance, you will see Cassiopeia. In other words, if you formed a straight line between the Big Dipper and Cassiopeia, Polaris would be located in the center of this line.
Cassiopeia is located in a rich area of the Milky Way and is very lovely to view through a pair of binoculars. If you wish to compare the colors of a white and a yellow star, look at alpha Cassiopiae and beta Cassiopiae. They are both of almost equal brightness, while alpha is yellow and beta is white. Beautiful star clusters are also found near Cassiopeia.
Greek mythology of the Cassiopeia Constellation
The Greeks referred to the five stars forming the constellation as Cassiopeia’s chair. The Arabs on the other hand viewed it as right side-up “M”, thus called Cassiopeia a kneeling camel. More specifically, they associated it with Bactrian Camels (Camels with two humps).
The Greek mythology around Cassiopeia depict her as an Ethiopian queen known for her vanity. She claimed to be more beautiful than the daughters of Neureuus, the sea god, and in doing so offended the sea-nymphs. This claim started a chain of events involving her daughter Andromeda, her husband Cepheus and also Perseus. To punish Cassiopeia, she was placed in the sky by Zeus. He positioned her in a manner which would force her to revolve around Polaris and periodically she must stand on her head.
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