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Connect the Dots
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Cassiopeia Connect the Dots

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Cassiopeia is an easily-seen constellation that is in the far northern sky. The five major stars of Cassiopeia (also known as "The Lady of the Chair") are shaped like a "W" (or an "M," depending on your orientation). This constellation was named for Queen Cassiopeia, the mother of Andromeda (and the wife of Cephus) in Greek mythology; some people imagine this constellation as picturing a crown while others imagine a queen's throne. Connect the dots and see if you can imagine Cassiopeia's throne or her crown.

Cassiopeia circles the northern pole star (Polaris) throughout the year and also straddles the Milky Way. The stars in Cassiopeia are all less than second magnitude in brightness. The brightest star in Cassiopeia is Schedar (alpha Cas), which is a multiple star that is pale rose in color and varies in magnitude from 2.2 to 2.8 magnitudes. The second-brightest, called Caph (beta Cas), is a white star of magnitude 2.4.

Throughout history, people have given names to groups of stars in the sky. A constellation is a group of stars that we see in the sky. These stars are not necessarily located together in space, but they look as though they are a group when seen from Earth. See if you can find these stars in the night sky of the Northern Hemisphere.

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