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The Seated Queen And The Wish Granting Dragon

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Cassiopeia: The Seated Queen and the Wish-granting Dragon

The famed Alexandrian astronomer, Ptolemy, catalogued Cassiopeia among his original 48 constellations recorded in The Almagest, and it still shines brightly to this day. Visible year-round, Cassiopeia is easily identified by its “W” shape. This distinction, also known as an asterism, made Cassiopeia one of the first constellations I could identify in the night sky. Each time I spot those five stars I am hit with a wave of nostalgia and this has caused Cassiopeia to be among my favorite constellations. While predominantly appearing in the Northern sky, Cassiopeia may also be viewed from parts of the Southern hemisphere. The stars span an area of 598 square degrees, making Cassiopeia the 25th largest of the 88 recognized constellations. Included in the formation are open clusters Messier 52 and Messier 103; the supernova remnant Cassiopeia A; a star-forming cloud known as the Pacman Nebula; and The White Rose Cluster. German-British astronomer Caroline Hershel discovered the cluster in 1783. Approximately 300 stars form this cluster, which appears as a delicate rose gently unfolding in the sky. Cassiopeia belongs to the Perseus family that also includes the constellations Andromeda, Auriga, Cepheus, Cetus, Lacuta, Pegasus, Perseus, and Triangulum.

Cassiopeia is also called The Seated Queen. The origins of the title lie in the Greek Muggle myth of Cassiopeia, Queen of Ethiopia. As the story tells, the vain
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