World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Cetus (constellation)

Article Id: WHEBN0002368456
Reproduction Date:

Title: Cetus (constellation)  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Aquarius (constellation), Dwarf galaxy, SuperWASP, Iota Ceti, Eta Ceti, Gamma Ceti, Caldwell catalogue, List of NGC objects (1–1000)
Collection:
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Publication
Date:
 

Cetus (constellation)

This article is about the constellation. For other uses, see Cetus (disambiguation).

Cetus
Constellation
List of stars in Cetus
Abbreviation Cet
Genitive Ceti
Pronunciation /ˈstəs/, genitive /ˈst/
Symbolism the Whale, Shark, or Sea Monster
Right ascension 1.42 h
Declination −11.35°
Quadrant SQ1
Area 1231 sq. deg. (4th)
Main stars 15
Bayer/Flamsteed
stars
88
Stars with planets 22
Stars brighter than 3.00m 2
Stars within 10.00 pc (32.62 ly) 9
Brightest star β Cet (Deneb Kaitos)† (2.04m)
Nearest star Luyten 726-8
(8.73 ly, 2.68 pc)
Messier objects 1
Meteor showers October Cetids
Eta Cetids
Omicron Cetids
Bordering
constellations
Aries
Pisces
Aquarius
Sculptor
Fornax
Eridanus
Taurus
Visible at latitudes between +70° and −90°.
Best visible at 21:00 (9 p.m.) during the month of November.
Note:Mira (ο Cet) is magnitude 2.0 at its brightest.

Cetus /ˈstəs/ is a constellation. Its name refers to Cetus, a sea monster in Greek mythology, although it is often called 'the whale' today. Cetus is located in the region of the sky that contains other water-related constellations such as Aquarius, Pisces, and Eridanus.

Notable features


Ecliptic

Although Cetus is not generally considered part of the zodiac, the ecliptic passes close to its constellation boundary, and thus the planets may be seen in Cetus for brief periods of time. This is even more true of asteroids, since their orbits usually have a greater inclination to the ecliptic than planets. For example, the asteroid 4 Vesta was discovered in this constellation in 1807.

Stars

The most notable star in Cetus is Mira ("the Wonderful"), designated Omicron Ceti, the first variable star to be discovered and the prototype of its class. Over a period of 332 days it reaches a maximum apparent magnitude of 3 - visible to the naked eye - and dips to a minimum magnitude of 10, invisible to the unaided eye. Its seeming appearance and disappearance gave it its common name, which means "the amazing one". Mira pulsates with a minimum size of 400 solar diameters and a maximum size of 500 solar diameters. 420 light-years from Earth, it was discovered by David Fabricius in 1596.[1]

There are several other bright stars in Cetus. α Ceti, traditionally called Menkar ("the nose"), is a red-hued giant star of magnitude 2.5, 220 light-years from Earth. It is a wide double star; the secondary is 93 Ceti, a blue-white hued star of magnitude 5.6, 440 light-years away. β Ceti, also called Deneb Kaitos and Diphda, is the brightest star in Cetus. It is an orange-hued giant star of magnitude 2.0, 96 light-years from Earth. The traditional name "Deneb Kaitos" means "the whale's tail". γ Ceti, Kaffaljidhma ("head of the whale") is a very close double star. The primary is a yellow-hued star of magnitude 3.5, 82 light-years from Earth, and the secondary is a blue-hued star of magnitude 6.6.[1]

Tau Ceti is noted for being the nearest Sun-like star at a distance of 11.9 light-years. It is a yellow-hued main-sequence star of magnitude 3.5.

AA Ceti is a triple star system; the brightest member has a magnitude of 6.2. The primary and secondary are separated by 8.4 arcseconds at an angle of 304 degrees. The tertiary is not visible in telescopes. AA Ceti is an eclipsing variable star; the tertiary star passes in front of the primary and causes the system's apparent magnitude to decrease by 0.5 magnitudes.[2] UV Ceti is an unusual binary variable star. 8.7 light-years from Earth, the system consists of two red dwarfs. both of magnitude 13. One of the stars is a flare star, which are prone to sudden, random outbursts that last several minutes; these increase the pair's apparent brightness significantly - as high as magnitude 7.[1]

Deep-sky objects

Cetus lies far from the galactic plane, so that many distant galaxies are visible, unobscured by dust from the Milky Way. Of these, the brightest is Messier 77 (NGC 1068), a 9th magnitude spiral galaxy near Delta Ceti. It appears face-on and has a clearly visible nucleus of magnitude 10. About 50 million light-years from Earth, M77 is also a Seyfert galaxy and thus a bright object in the radio spectrum.[1] Recently, the galactic cluster JKCS 041 was confirmed to be the most distant cluster of galaxies yet discovered.[4]

NGC 246 (Caldwell 56), also called the Cetus Ring, is a planetary nebula with a magnitude of 8.0, 1600 light-years from Earth. Among some amateur astronomers, NGC 246 has garnered the nickname "Pac-Man Nebula" because of the arrangement of its central stars and the surrounding star field.[5]

History and mythology

Cetus may have originally been associated with a whale, which would have had mythic status amongst Mesopotamian cultures. It is often now called the Whale, though it is most strongly associated with Cetus the sea-monster, who was slain by Perseus as he saved the princess Andromeda from Poseidon's wrath. Cetus is located in a region of the sky called "The Sea" because many water-associated constellations are placed there, including Eridanus, Pisces, Piscis Austrinus, Capricornus, and Aquarius.[6]

Cetus has been depicted many ways throughout its history. In the 17th century, Cetus was depicted as a "dragon fish" by Johann Bayer. Both Willem Blaeu and Andreas Cellarius depicted Cetus as a whale-like creature in the same century. However, Cetus has also been variously depicted with animal heads attached to a piscine body.[6]

In global astronomy

In Chinese astronomy, the stars of Cetus are found among two areas: the Black Tortoise of the North (北方玄武, Běi Fāng Xuán Wǔ) and the White Tiger of the West (西方白虎, Xī Fāng Bái Hǔ).

The Brazilian Tukano and Kobeua people used the stars of Cetus to create a jaguar, representing the god of hurricanes and other violent storms. Lambda, Mu, Xi, Nu, Gamma, and Alpha Ceti represented its head; Omicron, Zeta, and Chi Ceti represented its body; Eta Eri, Tau Cet, and Upsilon Cet marked its legs and feel; and Theta, Eta, and Beta Ceti delineated its tail.[6]

In Hawaii, the constellation was called Na Kuhi and Mira (Omicron Ceti) may have been called Kane.[7]

Namesakes

USS Cetus (AK-77) was a United States Navy Crater class cargo ship named after the constellation.

See also

References

Bibliography

External links

  • The Deep Photographic Guide to the Constellations: Cetus
  • Star Tales – Cetus
  • Cetus Constellation at Constellation Guide

, −11° 21′ 00″

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and USA.gov, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for USA.gov and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
 
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
 
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.
 



Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.