Cetus Constellation History, Location, How To View

Cetus Constellation: History, Location, How to View

The ancient constellations have great importance in Greek mythology. One such crucial Greek myth is about the Cetus constellation, named after the sea monster in Greek mythology.

This constellation lies in the “Water” region, including some other constellations like Aquarius, Eridanus, Pisces, and more. Cetus contains Messier 77 and several famous stars like Beta Ceti, Alpha Ceti, Tau Ceti, and Mira’s renowned variable star named Omicron Ceti.

History of Cetus Constellation

In the 2nd century, the famous Greek astronomer named Ptolemy cataloged 48 various constellations in his Almagest. One of his 48 cataloged constellations was Cetus. Moreover, this constellation was named after the sea monster in Greek mythology of Andromeda.

In 1922 when the International Astronomical Union recognized constellation, Cetus was also officially listed among the eight constellations.

What is the English name for Cetus Constellation?

In English, Cetus is called the sea monster or “whale“.

What is the Greek Mythological Significance of Cetus Constellation?

Cetus relates to princess Andromeda’s myth. In this myth, Andromeda’s mother, Cassiopeia, a boastful and arrogant Queen, proud of her beauty, angered Poseidon, the sea god. Poseidon’s wife was a nymph, and Cassiopeia claimed that she was prettier than the nymphs.

Furious, Poseidon sent the sea monster named Cetus for Cassiopeia and Cepheus. To save themselves, the husband and wife sacrificed their daughter Andromeda and tied her with the rock in Cetus’s front. However, she was saved by Perseus, who also became her husband later. Perseus also killed Cetus.

How to Find Cetus Constellation?

Cetus is a large constellation; therefore, it is easy to spot it. Additionally, there are many ways of finding this constellation, and you can easily find it using any method. These are discussed below:

  • Locate Taurus; you will find Cetus on its west.
  • Locate Aquarius; you will find Cetus on its east.
  • Locate the circlet (the pentagon of the star).
  • Find the brightest star named Mira (the companion and giant red star) in the circle.
  • When you find Mira, you are at Cetus.

What is the Area of Cetus Constellation?

It has a total area of 1231.411 square degrees.

What Quadrant is Cetus Constellation in?

Cetus is located in the first southern hemisphere quadrant. This quadrant is also referred to as SQ1.

What Latitude is Cetus Constellation Visible in?

This constellation can be seen between the latitudes of +70° and -90°. It is surrounded by:

What Type of Telescope is Best for Viewing Cetus Constellation?

Cetus is large and easy to spot constellation. You do not have to follow complicated steps to locate them. You can view it using binoculars and other amateur telescopes. But if you want a detailed view of this constellation, you will need much more than a small telescope or binocular.

For detailed inspection of this constellation, telescopes with the wide-angle eyepiece and four or 5-inch magnitude will work fine.


Recommended Reading: