Cassiopeia the Queen is one of the most distinctive constellations in the sky. Its five brightest stars form a W pattern that is easily recognizable by even the most casual stargazer.
In Greek mythology, Cassiopeia was the wife of King Cepheus, monarch in ancient Ethiopia. Nearby in our sky is their only child, Princess Andromeda, whom we visited in my last column. Cassiopeia was banished to the sky after boasting that Andromeda was more beautiful than the Nereids, the female water spirits who accompanied Poseidon, Greek god of the seas. Cassiopeia forever wheels around the North Celestial Pole sitting on her throne, spending half of her time clinging to it to keep from falling off.
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