cepheus (sē´-fūs) (face North.)

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 star visible to the naked eye in the United States. The star ζ has a blue companion star.

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.


cassiopeia (kas-i-ō-pē´-ya)—the Lady In The Chair. (face North.)

cetus (sē´-tus)—the Whale. (face Southeast.)