Celestial, heavenly queen
Oh vanity! ‘Tis quicksand of reason
And angry Gods speak
Purity and innocence
Shackled to crystalline quartz
And blamelessness the sacrificial quarry
Retribution is costly --
Though beauty shines brightly
Comes lonely truth
Words by Kate Little
All Rights Reserved
An excerpt from starryskies.com:
The constellation Cassiopeia is an ancient one, dating as far back as 3500 BC.
The most commonly known story about it comes from the Greeks, and relates that Cassiopeia is the beautiful wife of Cepheus, King of Ethiopia, and mother of Andromeda.
Cassiopeia was not just beautiful; she knew it and she bragged about it.
But one day, she went too far. While gushing on about how beautiful she was, Cassiopeia announced she was even more beautiful than the sea nymphs.
This was a mistake; the sea nymphs were incensed. They complained to Neptune, the ruler of the sea. Neptune agreed that Cassiopeia had to be punished and he sent a sea monster to ravage the shores of Ethiopia. But the punishment did not end there. Neptune decreed that Cassiopeia must take her daughter, Andromeda, and chain her to a rock by the sea. There she would perish to the sea monster, and only then would Cassiopeia’s punishment be over.
Naturally Andromeda was not happy about the situation, but there was little she could do; she awaited her fate.
But fate was with her because, just before the monster reached her, Perseus flew by on his winged horse Pegasus.
Perseus saw the girl, and at once fell in love. He swooped down upon the sea monster and killed it. Perseus then flew away with Andromeda.
Cassiopeia was bound to her throne and banished to the stars by Poseidon and was put upside down for half the year because of her vanity.
All of these characters, Cassiopeia, Cepheus, Andromeda, Perseus and Pegasus, inhabit the northeast sky in October. Cassiopeia and Cepheus are called circumpolar constellations, meaning they circle the north pole star, Polaris. These two constellations are visible at all times of the year at our latitude, though they are not always in the same place.
Cassiopeia is the brightest of the constellations, and easiest to find.
To find the Queen, look high in the northeastern sky around 9PM. Cassiopeia’s stars from a distinctive "W" shape which at this time, is almost on its side with the open end pointing north. Cepheus is farther north than Cassiopeia, and his stars form a pointed square, upside down.
The main stars of Pegasus make a great square in the sky, big enough that the constellation Cassiopeia would easily fit into. Look for Pegasus high in the east, to the right of Cassiopeia.
In Andromeda, which is about halfway between Cassiopeia and Pegasus, in a dark sky, you can notice a hazy patch. This is the Andromeda galaxy, the farthest object we can see with the naked eye. The Andromeda galaxy, known to astronomers as M31, is a galaxy much like our own Milky Way Galaxy which we call home. Binoculars or a small telescope will show much more detail.