Cepheus is a constellation of the northern hemisphere and covers an area of 588 square degrees. The brightest star Alderamin is a star of the second magnitude and about 53 light-years from Earth. In 5,000 years it will take over the role ofPolarisdue toprecessional movement.
How to spot Cepheus
The constellation is located between the constellationsDragon,Ursa Minor,CygnusandCassiopeia. It can be seen all year round in the northern hemisphere, but best in fall. Despite its size, it is often not recognized in the sky because there are many similarly bright stars near the constellation.
According to Greek mythology, the constellation represents Cepheus, the king of Ethiopia. With his wife Cassiopeia, he fathered their beautiful daughterAndromeda. The proud mother claimed that she and her daughter were more beautiful than the Nereids, which is why Poseidon got angry and sent the sea monsterCetusto destroy the shores of the Kingdom of Cepheus. An oracle determined that Cepheus would have to sacrifice his daughter to appease the God of Water. That's why he chained Andromeda to a rock and left her to her fate.Perseus, a son of Zeus, coincidentally passed the place on the way back from a heroic deed and saved the beautiful maiden. Later he married her and started a family. Perses, a son of the two, became Cepheus' successor after death. To commemorate this story, all those involved were put in the sky as constellations.