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Constellation Guide

Constellation guide to the 88 official constellations which divide up the sky. These constellations are used to help navigate the celestial sphere. The Constellations are patterns in the sky which have been to invented and have deep mythology behind them. Constellations cover massive areas in the sky and as such are very easy to find.

Some of the constellations have very familiar names, such as Leo, Gemini, Virgo and Aquarius. There are 12 of these constellations and they form the Zodiac. The Zodiac constellations follow the line of the ecliptic. The ecliptic is the apparent path of the Sun on the celestial sphere.

Cetus

The Whale

Cetus is a constellation of the southern sky, in the region known as the Water, near other watery constellations like Aquarius, Pisces, and Eridanus.

Cetus

Cetus Mythology

This constellation has been known since antiquity. In Mesopotamia, it was identified with the primordial cosmic female principle, the sea-monster Tiamat.

In Greek mythology, together with the constellations above it, of Andromeda, Cepheus, Perseus, Cassiopeia, and possibly Pegasus), this may be the source of the myth of the Boast of Cassiopeia, with which it is usually identified.

In certain earlier Greek mythology, it also represented the gates (and gateposts) of the underworld (considered to be the area under the ecliptic).

Further Information

This constellation's most notable star is Mira (? Ceti), the first variable star to be discovered. Over a period of 331.65 days it can reach a maximum magnitude as high as 2.0m, one of the brightest in the sky and easily visible to the unaided eye, then drop to 10.1m and back again.

Cetus Photographs

 

More Constellations

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