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September Night Sky Wonders

9 Sep 2013, 11:38 UTC
September Night Sky Wonders
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Although the back-to-school month may see many of us locked away in ‘darkened rooms’ on more than one occasion, where curtains are left open we may just find our rooms once again graced with a little starlight.
Her most famous pose: According to Greek myth, queen Cassiopeia pictured here fixing her long hair, was extremely beautiful, however her accompanying vanity was the main source of her problems and ultimately led to her undoing. NB. The super-bright ‘star’ marked on the sky map left of Cassiopeia as a tribute to its historic astronomical significance is the now-disappeared supernova of 1572.(Image credit: Copyright: Tartu Observatory Virtual Museum/1661 edition of Bayer’s Uranometria (USNO copy))

With her bold letter-‘W’-like form grabbing your attention from high in the night sky, Cassiopeia, the circumpolar constellation named after the vain queen of Greek mythology, most likely takes pleasure in outshining the dimmer stars of her ‘downtrodden husband’ and adjacent constellation, king Cepheus. It was said that having already offended Poseidon’s golden-haired sea nymphs with her overt claims to superior beauty, the god of the sea’s punishment saw to it that Cassiopeia was toppled from her upright position and pedestal of self-regard while being placed in ...

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