Shop Windows to the Universe

The Spring 2011 issue of The Earth Scientist is focused on modernizing seismology education. Thanks to IRIS, you can download this issue for free as a pdf. Print copies are available in our online store.
The constellation Cepheus.
Click on image for full size
Windows to the Universe original image

King Cepheus

Cepheus was king of a land called Ethiopia in Greek myth. He had a wife named Cassiopeia and a daughter, Andromeda. Cassiopeia liked to brag about her beauty so much, that she said she and Andromeda were more beautiful than the Nereids. Poseidon got very angry, and sent a sea monster to kill Cepheus and his family.

Andromeda was offered as a sacrifice, and just when the sea monster was going to eat her, Perseus saved her. All four people, along with the monster, are in the sky as constellations.

Cepheus looks like a house. The point on top is a special star called a cepheid. These stars are used to measure long distances. Just below the constellation is another cepheid. This red star would be the North Star if we lived on Mars.

There are several galaxies, star clusters and nebulae within Cepheus. However, most are very dim and can only be seen with a telescope. If you have a telescope to use, browse this old constellation to find many celestial objects.

Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!

The Fall 2009 issue of The Earth Scientist, which includes articles on student research into building design for earthquakes and a classroom lab on the composition of the Earth’s ancient atmosphere, is available in our online store.

Windows to the Universe Community

News

Opportunities

You might also be interested in:

Science, Evolution, and Creationism

How did life evolve on Earth? The answer to this question can help us understand our past and prepare for our future. Although evolution provides credible and reliable answers, polls show that many people turn away from science, seeking other explanations with which they are more comfortable....more

Andromeda

In Greek mythology, Andromeda was the daughter of Cassiopeia and Cepheus, the king of Ethiopia. Andromeda's mother claimed that they were more beautiful than the sea nymphs, the Nereids. The Nereids felt...more

Cetus

The constellation Cetus represents the Sea Monster. It is one of the largest constellations known. In classical civilizations, the figure was the giant sea monster that almost ate Andromeda. King Cepheus...more

Perseus

Perseus was an ancient Greek hero. His mother was Danae, the daughter of Acrisius, the king of Argos. When a prophecy revealed to Acrisius that his grandson would kill him, Acrisius imprisoned his daughter...more

Andromeda

Andromeda is a "V" shaped constellation best viewed in the fall if you live in the Northern Hemisphere. Andromeda lies close to the north pole, so only a few in the Southern Hemisphere can see this strangely...more

Perseus

Perseus, the Hero, can be found in the sky during the winter in the Northern Hemisphere. With a little imagination, you can see the image of a man in the stars. He has a sort of triangular body, with...more

Ursa Major

Ursa Major is probably the most famous constellation, with the exception of Orion. Also known as the Great Bear, it has a companion called Ursa Minor, or Little Bear. The body and tail of the bear make...more

40 Eridani B - Burnt-Out Cinder

What's in a Name: Star designated 40 in the constellation Eridanus. Claim to Fame: One of the first white dwarfs found. A white dwarf is the exposed extremely hot core of a star that has blown off its...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF