Pin It
Favorite

How to Find Cassiopeia 

by Cara Gardner


Whether you're trying to impress someone or are tired of only being able to see the Big and Little Dippers when contemplating the night sky, knowing how to find a constellation is a good thing. Cassiopeia is easy to find because it's shaped like a "W" -- or sometimes an "M," depending on its position in the sky -- and you can see it all year long. If you use a telescope, you'll also get the benefits of seeing the nebulae (star dust), star clusters and even galaxies within the constellation. Cassiopeia is high overhead to the north-northeast. First, find the Big Dipper and the Little Dipper. Now, focus in on the point where the handle of the Big Dipper meets its cup. Draw an imaginary line from that point straight through the last star in the handle of the Little Dipper (the star Polaris); that imaginary line will swipe right through Cassiopeia. Its shape should become clear.


Finding Cassiopeia doesn't do much good if you don't know the myth behind the constellation. The Roman myth has multiple variations, but goes something like this: The ancient Ethiopian queen Cassiopeia thought she was more beautiful than all sea nymphs, especially the daughter of Poseidon, god of the sea. To punish her for her arrogance, Poseidon chained Cassiopeia's daughter, Andromeda, to a rock on the coast as an offering to a sea monster. Andromeda was saved, but Cassiopeia was banned to the sky, hanging half of the time with her head downward, signifying her eternal humility.





Publication date: 06/10/04

  • Pin It

Latest in News

  • In the Spotlight
  • In the Spotlight

    Do you have the right to project your slogan on someone else's wall?
    • Apr 29, 2015
  • Idaho's Oil Country
  • Idaho's Oil Country

    Idaho is poised to tap its fossil fuels; plus, Inslee signs pot reforms into law
    • Apr 29, 2015
  • This Old House
  • This Old House

    If it could talk, it could tell stories of three generations, along with a lot of griping from neighbors
    • Apr 29, 2015
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Today | Mon | Tue | Wed | Thu | Fri | Sat
Bloomsday 2015

Bloomsday 2015 @ Downtown Spokane

Sun., May 3

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Cara Gardner

  • Pride or Prejudice?

    Jim West may have overcompensated for his closeted sexual identity by voting against gay rights legislation. But how are his fellow Republicans dealing with the news that the powerful conservative has admitted to sexual relationships with
    • Jul 8, 2005
  • Weapon of Mass Doubt

    Scott Ritter has been called "an honest man lost in Washington" by Forbes and "the most famous renegade Marine officer" by the New York Times. A former marine captain and the former chief weapons inspector for Unscom, the agency in charge
    • Jun 23, 2005
  • Plaintiffs Speak

    For many, the current hearings in the Washington Supreme Court regarding marriage equality are interesting side notes in the ongoing battle over the right of homosexuals to marry legally. But for Marge Ballack and Diane Lantz, two plaintif
    • Jun 23, 2005
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Restore the Honesty

    Re-establishing trust with the public will require courage on the part of our elected officials
    • Apr 8, 2015
  • Don't Test Me

    The Smarter Balanced standardized test has sparked a rebellion in Western Washington — and it's spreading
    • Apr 15, 2015
  • More »

© 2015 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation