Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Q is for Queen Cassiopeia

We’re at Q in our heavenly bodies A-Z challenge tour.  Since there are no constellations or planets that begin with a Q and since I don’t really understand things like quasars (which don’t really fall under the “heavenly bodies” category as I am interpreting them), I’m going to cheat just a bit.  At Andromeda someone suggested that they bet C would be Cassiopeia, but they were wrong because I had anticipated this problem and saved Cassiopeia for now.  Today’s heavenly body is “Queen Cassiopeia,” the wife of Cepheus (we explored him under the letter K for King Cepheus).  Cassiopeia is a heavenly body in the beauty since, for she thought she was the most beautiful woman ever which, as we saw when exploring Andromeda, got her and her husband and their kingdom in trouble.   

Cassiopeia is easy to spot.  She is the W or the M  (depending on which side of the Celestial Pole the constellation is at) that circles the pole and in the middle northern latitudes can be seen all year.   She is on the far side of pole from the Big Dipper.  Although a queen, the five bright stars making up the W are not a crown as one would think…

In addition to being a queen, other cultures have seen different things.  In the Middle East, the stars have been seen as a women’s hand and a camel.  Lapplanders understood it to be a moose antler.  In Siberia, the five bright stars were seen as five reindeer (and as it is over the pole, maybe they belong to Santa, but we’re missing a few).  In the Marshall Islands, the “W” of Cassiopeia was seen as the back fins of a huge porpoise (that extended out, borrowing stars from the constellations Perseus, Andromeda, Triangulum and Aries). 


Have you ever seen Cassiopeia?  Do you think of her as a W or a M? 


15 comments:

  1. I think I can recognise her... Now the nights are starting to get warmer I'd like to walk out more and take a look...

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  2. I think I'll be able to use the last picture on this post as a guide to spot Queen Cassiopeia, at least I'll try. Like the different names she's called in different parts of the world.
    https://artismoments.blogspot.qa/2017/04/q-is-for-questions-to-blogger.html

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  3. Yes, I've seen it, and to me it's a female.

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  4. Funny how we forget words. Your mention of quasars reminded me that I wrote my college English essay, required for graduation, on quarks. Haven't thought of them again since 1968, lol.

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  5. It is amazing how different people see different things from the same group of stars. It's kind of like a Rorschach inkblot test. I have probably seen her, but didn't realize what I was looking at. Knowing where she is relative to the North Star and the Big Dipper, I may be able to recognize her now.

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  6. I’ve seen this one! It’s interesting how different cultures see different things in the same stars. I don’t think I’d be creative enough to come up with my own constellations.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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  7. I always thought that name, Cassiopeia, was lovely

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  8. Appropriate that you chose her as your Q since she's queen to your choice for K.

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  9. So many cultures & so many stories with different interpretation!
    Hats off to imagination!
    Queen Cassiopeia sounds so royal!

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  10. Cassiopeia is one of the constellations I look for since I can only identify a few on a regular basis. Love how you made this work for Q.

    Emily | My Life In Ecuador

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  11. A great choice for the queen of the heavens.
    Thanks so much for your visit today

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  12. Well, now I want to know about quasars. ;) I'm not sure if I've actually seen Cassiopeia in the sky, but I did know the constellation was shaped like a W. I love the different interpretations of the constellation in different cultures.

    A to Z 2017: Magical and Medicinal Herbs

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  13. This is one of the few constellations I can easily identify. I like the different cultural interpretations. Purpoise fins, camel, a hand? http://sagecoveredhills.blogspot.com/2017/04/q-is-for-queen-cassiopeia.html

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  14. I always think of Cassiopeia as a W, no matter her orientation. This constellation is one of my favorites, so I'm glad that you found a way to include her. Have a good one, my friend!

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