About Cassiopeia

Being part of the first batch of constellations discovered by Greek Astronomer Ptolemy, Cassiopeia is one of the 48 original constellations found by Ptolemy that is still deemed scientifically correct of the current 88 listed in present day. Cassiopeia is a constellation that is reasonably easy to recognize due to its unique “U” shaped pattern formed by five stars. Her location amongst the sky is somewhat in the middle of other infamous constellations, she is south of the constellation Andromeda, Cepheus just to the north, and is facing the Big Dipper. The origin of the name was from a Greek Mythological vain queen who was aesthetically infatuated with herself, and was hated by many individuals within her city for her tainted relationship with her own daughter. This Greek mythological figure is well-known as it has been mentioned in many famous mythological stories especially well-known for being slain by Perseus. Legend has it that when she was slain the ultimate god of Greek mythology, Zeus, put her and her husband, Cepheus, high and way above in the starry night so that they may spend eternity looking at each other.

Cassiopeia is made up of five major stars that are roughly 300 million years old. However, only two of the five total stars within the constellation are visible to the naked eye, and are amongst the brightest within the galaxy, which are categorized as an extremely rare class of yellow hyper giants. A yellow hyper giant is an extremely rare and unique type of star that only lasts a couple million of years before it destroys itself resulting in an eruption causing a supernova or hyper nova. The five stars are Caph, Shedar, Cih, Ruchbah, and Sagin, these 5 stars are faint in luminosity however, one extremely rare occurrence known as the SN1572, or Tycho’s Supernova, happened and only lasted for roughly one year in 1572. Cassiopeia’s constellation which is generally too faint to see with the human eye, however, suddenly it was as bright as other planets, as it was first observed by Tycho Brahe. This event was the one of only four supernovae ever observed within the Milky Way galaxy. The event is often described as one of the most important events in astronomy. The imagery of this event caused much revision of religious and cultural documents, and also had allowed many astronomers of the time to depict much more accurate catalogues of stars within the Milky Way galaxy.

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