Cassiopeia

Meaning: The Queen of Ethiopia, the Seated Queen

Cassiopeia, the Queen of Ethiopia, the Seated Queen. Cas

Print out the star map from Free Star Charts

Things to look for:
B Cas – Tycho’s Star was a supernova spotted in 1572. You’ll need an x-ray observatory!
Nebulae in the vicinity of Navi
Open Clusters other than the Messier ones

Messier objects:
M52 Open Cluster[5.0], M103 Open Cluster[7.4]

Note: [x.x] indicates visual magnitude

Pronunciation: kass ee oh pee’ uh
Associated Asterisms: The W or the M. Part of the Three Guides
% of the sky: 1.45%
Visible Stars: 51 stars brighter than magnitude 5.5

Locating Cassiopeia

Cassiopeia is circumpolar for observers in the UK and is approximately on the other side of the North Celestial Pole compared with Ursa Major. This is very useful as when trying to first orientate yourself in the night sky you tend to spot one or other first. Once you have one, you have the other as Alioth in Ursa Major and Navi in Cassiopeia are on straight line with Polaris in the middle; Navi is the central star of the familiar W and Alioth is the 3rd star in the handle of the Plough asterism.

 

 

 

 

 

The Queen of Ethiopia

Deep Sky objects in Casiopeia

The constellation is named the Queen of Ethiopia or the Seated Queen. It comprises 5 familiar stars although 9 have been named. The W is comprised, left to right, of Segin (ε Cas), Ruchbah/Ksora (δ Cas), Navi (γ Cas), Schedar/Shedar/Shedir (α Cas) and Caph (β Cas). Archird (η Cas) isn’t much dimmer than Segin but is omitted from the familiar asterism. It can be remembered as the Queen’s left elbow!

 

 

 

 

 

M52

M103

Cassiopeia contains several deep sky objects although only 2 were included in Messier’s catalogue. Both are Open Clusters i.e. collections/groups of stars within our Milky Way. The Open Cluster M52 is situated to the eastern boundary of the constellation and is sometimes referred to as the Salt and Pepper cluster. It is magnitude 6.9 so requires binoculars. To find it simply trace a line from Shedar to Caph and extend the same again on the other side. M103 is situated just a short hop from Navi and a quarter of the way to Segin. It is quite dim at 7.4 magnitude and interestingly other clusters in the constellation are brighter but didn’t make it to the catalogue.

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