Cepheus Constellation

Cepheus Constellation

Cepheus Constellation

Cepheus Constellation Outline

Cepheus Constellation Outline

If you ever spotted what looks like a simple dog house in the sky, you may have been staring at the Cepheus constellation. Picture a square with a peaked roof and this is the general shape of Cepheus. You can find the apex of the roof near to Polaris. Unlike the other major constellations, Cepehus is a bit more difficult to see initially because it has no really bright stars to help us locate it. Look for it between Cyrgnus (an autumn constellation) and the Polaris star.

The most notable star of Cepheus is called “mu Cephei”, more commonly referred to as the “ Garnet Star”. This is a dim variable star of only about 4.5 magnitude, which is known for its “claret” color.

The constellation Cepheus is located in the Milky Way galaxy but there is a corridor from delta Cephei to iota Cephei with relatively few stars. This area is within the Milky Way as well but it contains clouds of dust that block out many of the background stars. It as if there is a section of the sky that is covered by a dark veil.

Cepheus is associated with royalty. The Chinese designated these stars as the “Inner Throne of the Five Kings.” The Greeks named the constellation after Cepheus, the King of Ethiopia who was married to the beautiful Cassiopeia. Cepheus is known for handing his daughter Andromeda over to a serpent, something he was talked into doing by an oracle. The constellation has been named after King Solomon or Saint Stephen by groups who associate stars with religion.

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