Tuesday 19 September 2017 - 08:08:00 Posted by  Bobby

 Mythology of Cepheus

Cepheus is a far-northern constellation, adjoining Cassiopeia and extending almost to the north celestial pole, representing the mythical King Cepheus, the husband of the vain Queen Cassiopeia and father of Andromeda. Its brightest star is Alpha Cephei, of magnitude 2.5.

 The Facts

  • Depiction: The King
  • Pronounced: SEE-fee-us
  • Genitive: Cephei
  • Abbreviation: Cep
  • Highest in the Sky: September to October
  • Size Ranking: 27th
  • Coverage Area: 588 Sq. Degrees
  • Right Acension: 22 hours
  • Declination: 70°
  • Visibility: 90°N to 8°S

 Notable Objects

  • Delta Cephei: Variable star
  • Mu Cephei: Herschel's Garnet Star
  • NGC 40: Planetary nebula
  • NGC 188: Open cluster
  • NGC 6939: Open cluster
  • NGC 6946: Spiral galaxy
  • Struve 2873: Double star

 Named Stars

  • Alderamin, Alpha Cephei
  • Alfirk, Beta Cephei
  • Alrai, Gamma Cephei
  • Erakis (Garnet Star), Mu Cephei
  • Alkurhah, Xi Cephei
  • Alkalb, Rho Cephei

 Best Viewed Objects/Stars

Beta Cephei

 A double and variable star. The brighter component is a blue giant of magnitude 3.2, about 600 light-years away. It is a pulsating variable star (the prototype of a group called Beta Cephei stars), although its variations are so small that they are barely perceptible to the eye. A small telescope shows a companion of magnitude 7.9.

Delta Cephei

 A double star and a famous variable, is the prototype of so-called Cepheid variables, which astronomers use for finding distances in space. Such stars change in brightness as they pulsate in size. Delta Cephei itself varies between magnitudes 3.5 and 4.4 every 5 days 9 hours. It lies about 1,000 light-years away. A small telescope shows a wide companion of magnitude 6.3.

Mu Cephei (The Garnet Star)

 A variable star with a strong red color, hence its popular name, which is noticeable through binoculars or a small telescope. It is a red supergiant that pulsates in size, varying from magnitude 3.4 to 5.1 about every 2 years.


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