Location.—A line drawn from α to β Cassiopeiæ and prolonged about 18° strikes α Cephei. The nearest bright star west of Polaris is γ Cephei. Cepheus is an inconspicuous constellation, lying partly in the Milky Way. A view of this constellation through an opera-glass will repay the observer. Cepheus is characterized by a rude square, one side of which is the base of an isosceles triangle. Look for the so-called garnet star μ, probably the reddest
α forms an equilateral triangle with Polaris and ε Cassiopeiæ.
It is claimed that Cepheus was known to the Chaldæans twenty-three centuries before our era.
Surrounding δ, ε, ζ, and λ, which mark the king's head, is a vacant space in the Milky Way, similar to the Coal Sack of Cygnus.
About 4° from γ, in the direction of κ is a pretty pair of sixth-magnitude stars.
Owing to precession, γ, β, and α Cephei will be successively the Pole Star in 4500, 6000, and 7500 a.d. respectively.
δ is a double whose components are yellow and blue. It is an interesting variable changing from magnitude 3.7 to 4.9 at intervals of 5 days 8 hours 47 minutes. As it is three times as bright at maximum as at minimum and can be observed with the naked eye its variations are well worth observing.