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Cassiopeia, Queen of Ethiopia Constellation Facts and Mythology

Cassiopeia (Pronounciation:Cas-see-o-pee-ah, Abbrev:Cas, Latin:Cassiopeiae) is a constellation, one of 88 constellations that the night sky is divided into. The sky is not divided up equally between the constellations. Cassiopeia takes up 598.407 sq. degrees of the night sky which equates to 1.45% of the night sky. Cassiopeia is the 25th largest in terms of size in the night sky.

The constellation name means Queen of Ethiopia . The constellation is one of the original constellations that was devised by the Ancient Greco-Egyptian astronomer Ptolemy who lived between 90 A.D. and 168 A.D.

There are 5 stars that make up the main constellation. The hipparcos satellite scanned and detailed 2324 stars. There are 93 stars that can be seen with the naked eye in the constellation on a very clear night sky.

Cassiopeia is not a member of the Zodiac group of twelve constellations that appear when the Sun sets. Cassiopeia is a northern hemispheric constellation which means it can't be seen easily or at all from the southern hemisphere.

There are 20 Extrasolar Planets (Exoplanets) in this constellation that are detailed on this site. There is a dedicated page for exoplanets in Cassiopeia. The current largest star so far identified in the constellation of Cassiopeia is PZ Cassiopeiae. For a list of named stars, that is stars that don't start HD or HIP, please visit Cassiopeia Star List Page.

There are 2 deep space objects that were identified by Charles Messier in this constellation. There are 1 non-Messier deep space objects that are covered on this site and the list is below.

Cassiopeia Star Facts

The caveat of these stars are that they are catalogued on this site. If you know of a star that is nearer or further then do let me know in the comments and I'll add it to the site. The stars mentioned are from the Hipparcos catalogue or have been added because of their special status.

Achird, Nearest Star

The nearest star to Earth is Achird which is roughly about 19.42 Light Years from the Earth. The nearest star to the Earth with an exoplanet is HD 7924 which is about 54.83 Light Years.

HIP 12972, Furthest Star

The furthest star that is located in the constellation is HIP 12972 and it is 326163.3 light years away from the Sun. The furthest figure is derived from either the 1997 or 2007 Hipparcos star catalogue parallax figure and it has been known to produce distances that are wrong.

Schedar, Brightest Star in Cassiopeia

The brightest star in Cassiopeia is Schedar and is located about 46.61 light years from the Sun. The star has a apparent magnitude of 2.24 but an absolute magnitude of -1.98 when the star is viewed from a distance of 10 Parsecs or 32.6 Light Years. The star is recognised as being the brightest in the constellation as it has the Bayer status of Alpha.

52 Cassiopeiae, Dimmest Visible Star

The dimmest star that can be seen in Cassiopeia with the naked eye is 52 Cassiopeiae. The dim star has an apparent magnitude of 6. The dimmest star that a person is able to see with their naked eye is 6.0 magnitude based on the table in the reference. Ref: University of Michigan

AR Cassiopeiae

AR Cassiopeiae is a large multiple star system, whilst most multiple star systems are binaries such as Sirius also known as Alpha Canis Majoris, AR Cassiopeiae has seven stars in the system. There is only one other star that has that many stars and that is Jabbah in the constellation of Scorpius.

PZ Cassiopeiae

PZ Cassiopeiae is one of the largest stars so far discovered. If it was at the centre of our solar system, we would be inside the star. It is over 1,200 times the size of our Sun but it is not the largest. The largest star accolade goes to UY Scuti at over 1,800 times the radius.

V762 Cassiopeiae

V762 Cassiopeiae is the furthest star you can see with the naked eye. To see V762 Cassiopeiae you will need to be a very clear sky as it is on the borders of what is visible with the naked eye, apparent magnitude 6.5.

Cassiopeia Mythology

Cassiopeia was the queen of Philistia, now assumed to be latter day Ethiopia. Cassiopeia was married to King Cepheus, also a constellation. Cassiopeia was known to be very vain. When her daughter Andromeda was of a mature age, she was tied to a large rock to be sacrificed. Help would come from Perseus who would kill Cetus using the severed head of Medusa, the half-woman / half-serpent with snakes for hair and who could turn anyone to stone by looking at them. The Legend is told in Clash of the Titans film and in the 2010 remake.

Cassiopeia was name of a character in the original Battlestar Galactica series. Cassiopeia was a socialite character who became the love interest of the original Starbuck. In the second half of the series, her character was fleshed out a bit more and she became a medical technician.

The Sun's constellation

The Sun is not in a constellation but if we were on the planet orbiting Proxima Centauri then our Sun would be in Cassiopeia. Our Sun would be located to the south west of Segin, also known as Epsilon Cassiopeiae.

Meteor Showers Radiating from Cassiopeia

There are 17 Meteor Showers that occur during the year within this constellation based on information gathered from Adam Mickiewicz University (Poland). The list below are major ones and which I have a date period for.

NameActivityPeak ActivityClosest Star
Beta Cassiopeids3 Jul- 19 Aug29-JulCaph

Cassiopeia Facts

Is a Zodiac Sign No
Largest StarPZ Cassiopeiae
Brightest StarSchedar
Area598.407 sq. deg.
Percentage of Night Sky1.45%
Size Position25th
Hemisphere Northern
Site Exoplanet Count20
Meteor Shower Count17
Nearest StarAchird
Nearest Star with Exoplanet(s)HD 7924
Brightest StarSchedar
Dimmest Star52 Cassiopeiae
Furthest StarHIP 12972
Bright Star Count93
Hipparcos Star Count2324
Main Star Count5
Messier Deep Space Object Count2
*Non-Messier Deep Space Object Count1

*Note: The number of Non-Messier Deep Space Object Count relates to how many are covered on this site not how many there are.

Cassiopeia Constellation Map

Cassiopeia Constellation Star Map

The map was generated using Night Vision, an awesome free application by Brian Simpson.

List of Deep Space Objects (Galaxies, Nebulas, Supernovas, etc) in Cassiopeia

NameTypeDistanceDeclinationRight Ascension
Heart NebulaEmission Nebula7,50061:26:3602h 33h 22
Messier 103 (NGC581)Open Cluster10000+60:4201h 33m 2
Messier 52 (NGC7654)Open Cluster5000+61:3523h 42m 2

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