Cepheus – the ruler of the skies

It is not only the Earth where the kings rule. Even the sky is the dominion of the monarchs that sway their influence over the entire infinite ethereal expanse of the universe. When it comes to the king of the skies, it is undoubtedly the constellation, Cepheus that makes its mark. This star system in the northern sky is named after the Aethiopian king with the same name. The Greek mythology character was the husband of Cassiopeia and is one of the most renowned characters in the mythology. The father of Andromeda has got his name immortalized in the form of the constellation that keeps illuminating the northern sky every night.

The constellation

This star system is one of the first 48 constellations that were discovered by Ptolemy in the 2nd century itself. Today it is one of the 88 modern day constellations which have been found to date. The Cephei stars are the most renowned ones in the start system. The Alpha Cephei is the brightest star in this constellation. Cepheus is also the home of Delta Cephei, which is a prototype of the vital class of stars called Cephei variable. The orange hypergiant, RW Cephei, is one of the largest stars known to the human race. Stars like Mu Cephei, which is an orange hypergiant, and VV Cephei along with v2354 Cephei join this league.

The features

You can visibly identify the brightest star of this constellation, the Alpha Cephei. It is also called Alderamin and has a magnitude of 2.51. The Delta Cephei, which is a prototype of Cephei Variable, is a supergiant yellow-hued star. It exists 980 light years away from the Earth. The Cepheids are a series of pulsating variable star. The Delta Cephei is also identified as a double-star system, in which we have a yellow-hued system along with a blue-hued star.

The three red giants of this constellation are quite famous too. The VV Cephei, Mu Cephei, and T Cephei are the red giants that make Cepheus quite famous. They are quite larger than the Sun and are quite light years away from the Earth, Cepheus also boasts of the Kruger 60, which is a binary star of 11th magnitude and has two red dwarfs. This star system is one of the nearest to the solar system and is at just 13 light years of distance. The collection of binary stars and double stars in the constellation is simply mesmerizing.

Some trivia

The constellation, Cepheus, has its own set of trivia. You will be simply amazed by what all this star system holds for you.

  • NGC 188 is the nearest open cluster to the solar system and is also one of the oldest ones known to the human race. The cluster can be seen clearly in the northern pole.
  • If Mu Cephei were kept in the place of the Sun, its size would extend up to the orbit of Jupiter.

The constellation is as royal as the Greek king was, and it will be a delight for all astronomy fans.

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