Cepheus Constellation History, Location, How To View

Cepheus Constellation: History, Location, How to View

Astronomy is something that fascinates everybody with its numerous stars, galaxies, constellations, and whatnot. If you love to learn about astronomy, you will surely love learning about the Cepheus constellation, the 27th largest constellation.

This constellation belongs to the Perseus family of constellations. It is extremely close to the north celestial pole, making it an entire constellation of the northern hemisphere. Cepheus was named after Aethiopia’s mythical King named Cepheus.

History of Cepheus Constellation

Cepheus is one of the 48 constellations cataloged by Ptolemy in his Almagest, which was in the 2nd century. While in 1922, when the International Astronomical Union (IAU) was listing and recognizing constellations, they also officially included Cepheus in the list of 88 ancient and modern constellations.

What is the English name for Cepheus Constellation?

Cepheus has no English name. It is called Cepheus in English too.

What is the Greek Mythological Significance of Cepheus Constellation?

As per Greek mythology, the Cepheus constellation represents Cassiopeia’s husband and Ethiopia’s King. Cepheus was descended from nymph lo, who was one of Zeus’s loves. After his tragic death, he was placed among the stars by god Zeus.

Cepheus’s kingdom did not include modern Ethiopia; instead, he ruled the land between the red sea and the southeastern Mediterranean.

Cassiopeia was a very arrogant woman. She often claimed she was prettier than the Sea nymphs. Poseidon’s wife was also one of the sea nymphs. Hearing this, Poseidon sent the sea monster (Cetus constellation) to demolish the land of Cepheus.

Cepheus sought help from an oracle, which suggested that he sacrifice his daughter Andromeda to save his wife and himself. Reluctantly, he did so. But Andromeda was rescued by Perseus, who later on married her.

During their wedding celebration, Phineus, Cepheus’ brother, claimed he had been promised to marry Andromeda and began fighting Perseus. When Perseus was about to lose the fight, he used the sea monster’s head to turn his enemies into stone. The King and the queen were mistakenly turned into stone because they did not look away from the monster’s head, and Poseidon placed them among the stars.

How to Find Cepheus Constellation?

The easiest way of finding Cepheus is discussed below:

  • With the naked eye, search for asterism.
  • An alternate approach is to search for Cassiopeia.
  • When you find Cassiopeia, look for the more profound “V” side in its W shape.
  • Draw an imaginary line between Cheddar and Caph on the deeper “V” side.
  • The line will point at Alderamin, which is at the asterism of Cepheus’s bottom.

What is the Area of Cepheus Constellation?

This constellation occupies a total area of 587.787 square degrees.

What Quadrant is Cepheus Constellation in?

Cepheus is situated in the fourth northern quadrant denoted as NQ4.

What Latitude is Cepheus Constellation Visible in?

You can see Cepheus between the latitudes of +90° and -10°. It has borders with:

  • Camelopardalis
  • Cassiopeia
  • Cygnus
  • Draco
  • Lacerta
  • Ursa Minor

What Type of Telescope is Best for Viewing Cepheus Constellation?

The Cepheus contains Garnet star and VV Cephei, two of the brightest milky way stars, making it easier to view Cepheus even with the naked eye. Therefore, you do not need large telescopes for watching this constellation. However, to get a more detailed view, you can also use binoculars and the amateur telescope for small science projects.


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