The Queen

Abbreviation: Cas
Genitive: Cassiopeiae
Origin: [antiquity]

The constellation of Cassiopeia

In Greek mythology, King Cepheus and Queen Cassiopeia of Æthiopia (what we call the Upper Nile region) had a daughter named Andromeda. Cassiopeia boasted that she and her daughter was more beautiful than the Nereids, the sea nymphs who often accompanied Poseiden, god of the seas. As punishment, Poseiden sent a sea monster, Cetus, to ravage the coast of Æthopia. In desperation, Cepheus consulted an oracle who informed him that to appease Poseiden, Cepheus must sacrifice his daughter Andromeda to the sea monster. Thus, Andromeda was stripped naked and chained to the rocks on the coast of the sea. Fortunately for her, Perseus was passing by, having just slain the Gorgon, Medusa. He killed the sea monster and set Andromeda free, claiming her as his bride.

The now-obsolete constellation Custos Messium stands off to the left. Old star atlases show the keeper of the harvest pointing at the queen.

Notable Features

Designation Name Description
Perseids This August meteor shower is perhaps the most famous of them all. The meteors are fast and bright with many leaving trains, producing more colours than any other shower. Comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle is associated with this shower and since its return in 1992, this meteor shower has produced fine spectacles.
α Cas Schedar
β Cas Caph
δ Cas Ruchbah This star appears as Ksora in Antonín Bečvář's Atlas of the Heavens — Ⅱ Catalogue 1950.0. The derivation of the name is unknown but it may be from the Arabic al‑ẓuhr meaning 'the back'.
ε Cas Segin
ζ Cas Fulu
η Cas Achird
υ2 Cas Castula
HD 17156 Nushagak This eighth-magnitude star is known to have at least one exoplanet.
M52 This open cluster can be seen through binoculars.
M103 This is another open star cluster which is easy to observe through binoculars.
C8 In order to see this tenth magnitude open cluster, optical aids are required.
C10 Binoculars are necessary to view this young open cluster of several hundred stars.
C11 Bubble Nebula This is a faint emission nebula and a medium-size telescope is required to observe it. It is located near open cluster M52.
C13 Owl Cluster Discovered by William Herschel in 1787, the Owl Cluster is a rich open cluster which is easily observable through binoculars.
C17 This dwarf spheroidal galaxy is a companion of the Andromeda Galaxy. A medium-size telescope is necessary to see this tenth magnitude object
C18 This is another dwarf spheroidal galaxy and satellite of Andromeda Galaxy. It is slightly easier to see than C17.