Constellations - Cassiopeia
Cassiopeia is marked by its W-shape in the sky, with stars ranging from magnitude 2 to 3.5 marking each turn in the W. Like Ursa Major, Cassiopeia is circumpolar and can be seen all year round from northern latitudes.
Cassiopeia lies in the Milky Way; therefore, many objects such as nebulae (clouds of gas and dust) and star clusters lie within it. Scanning Cassiopeia with binoculars will reveal many of them, though the nebulae are a bit faint. Using a telescope is even more revealing.
The Open Cluster M103 is quite easy to find, as are the double stars. Try locating M52 by using the star hopping technique. The objects listed below show up well in a 6" telescope, though some are quite small or sparsely populated, as in the case of M103.
|M52||6.9||Open cluster 100+ stars|
|M103||7.4||Open cluster 25 stars|
|NGC663||7.1||Open cluster 80 stars|
|NGC457||6.4||Open cluster 80 stars|
|2.2||780 L/Y||Variable star between 1.6 and 3.2|
|Name||Mag / Separation||Distance|
|3.4 & 7.5 / 12.2"||480 L/Y|
|4.6 & 6.8 / 2.4"||840 L/Y|
Find your way to Cassiopeia
Author: Alistair Thomson