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Constellations Notes

  • Cygnus
    • Northern constellation lying on the plane of the Milky Way deriving its name from Latin name for swan.
    • In mythology Zeus disguised himself as a swan to seduce Leda, who gave birth to the Gemini, Helen of Troy, and Clytemnestra; Orpheus was transformed into a swan after his murder, and was said to have placed in the sky next to his lyre (Lyra); and the King Cygnus was transformed into a swan.
  • Lacerta
    • A small faint constellation sometimes referred to as "Little Cassiopeia" and is Latin for lizzard.
    • Is located between Cygnus, Cassiopeia, and Andromeda on the northern celestial sphere
  • Andromeda
    • Located north of the celestial equator and named after the Greek daughter of Cassiopeia who was chained to a rock to be eaten by the sea monster Cetus as a sacrifice to stop the sea monster from ravishing the city due to her mother's prideful boasting of her beauty
    • Is most prominent in during autumn evenings in the Northern Hemisphere
  • Cassiopeia
    • Constellation in the northern sky named after Greek queen Cassiopeia who boasted about her beauty.
    • Easily recognizable because of its W shape formed by five bright stars
    • Cassiopeia was the wife of King Cepheus and mother of Andromeda. Cepheus and Cassiopeia were placed next to each other in the sky.
    • She was placed in the sky as punishment for vanity due to boasting of her daughter's beauty being greater than the people of Nereids. As punishment Poseidon ravished the city and required them to sacrifice Andromeda to save the city.
  • Cepheus
    • Named after Greek King Cepheus and hosts a ultramassive black hole in its core known as the most massive black hole known in the universe
    • King Cepheus was King of Aethiopia and married to Cassiopeia and father to Andromeda and is immortalized in the sky next to his wife.
  • Camelopardalis
    • Is known as the Giraffe and is seen in the northern sky. Some alternate spellings are Camelopardalus, Camelopardi, Camelopardus
    • This constellation name was first created by Petrus Plancius and represents the animal Rebekah rode to marry Isaac in the Bible.
  • Draco
    • Constellation in the far northern sky and its name is Latin for dragon.
    • The north pole of the ecliptic is in Draco and Draco is circumpolar
    • There are several theories to the origin of the constellation but nothing that is concrete
  • Ursa Minor
    • Also known as Little Bear or Little Dipper is a constellation in the northern sky
    • It is important to navigators because it contains Polaris, the North Star
  • Ursa Major
    • Also known as Great Bear or Big Dipper is a constellation in the northern sky.
    • The two brightest stars can be used as a pointer towards the current northern pole star, Polaris
    • In Roman mythology Jupiter lusts after a woman named Callisto and Jupiter's wife gets jealous. Juno, Jupiter's wife, turns Callisto into a bear so she is no longer attractive to Jupiter. While in bear farm she encounters her son who almost shoots her. To prevent it Jupiter turns the son into a bear and puts them both into the sky, hence Little and Big Bear.