Farmers Almanac
The Farmers Almanac
BUY The 2018 Almanac NOW!

Cetus: The Sea Monster

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Add to Google+ Share on Pinterest Subscribe by Email Print This Post
Cetus: The Sea Monster

If you want to find a sea monster, you don’t need to take submarine down into the inky depths of the ocean. All you have to do is look up into the night sky and find the constellation Cetus.

Bordered by Aries, Pisces, Aquarius, Sculptor, Fornax, Eridanus, and Taurus, Cetus the sea monster was one of 48 constellations cataloged by the Second Century Greek astronomer Ptolemy, and is still one of 88 officially recognized modern constellations. Cetus sits in a region of the sky called “the sea,” which is home many water-related constellations.

Cetus contains 88 stars, 15 of which make up its shape, said to be a massive creature similar in appearance to a whale. In fact, modern viewers often refer to the constellation as “the whale.”

The brightest star in Cetus is Beta Ceti, also called Deneb Kaitos, meaning “the whale’s tail.” The orange-hued giant sits 96 light-years from Earth. After that is the red giant Alpha Ceti, traditionally known as Menkar. It forms double star system with 93 Ceti, a less brilliant blue-white star. Other visible stars include Gamma Ceti and Tau Ceti, the latter of which is notable for being the closest known Sun-like star, at a distance of 11.9 light-years from us.

(Continued Below)

The constellation’s most famous star is probably Omicron Ceti, more commonly known as Mira, which was the first variable star ever discovered. Over a period of 332 days, the star varies between shining brightly at a magnitude of 3 and fading until it becomes invisible to the naked eye. This unending magic show is the reason for its name, Mira, which means “the amazing one.”

Cetus is not one of the 12 constellations in the traditional Zodiac, but the planets do briefly pass through it in their journey through the night sky. The constellation also plays host to many asteroids at various times of the year.

In addition, because the constellation sits far enough away from the band of the obscuring dust of the Milky Way, many distant galaxies can be seen within it. The brightest of these is the Messier Object M-77, a spiral galaxy which sits near the star Delta Ceti. Another popular deep sky object is the planetary nebula NGC 246, also called the Cetus Ring. Its distinctive shape has earned it the nickname “the Pac-Man Nebula” among some sky watchers.

In Greek Mythology, Cetus was a sea-monster slain by the hero Perseus. The sea god Poseidon unleashed the monster on Ethiopia after Queen Cassiopeia boasted that her daughter Andromeda was more beautiful than the Nereids, and Andromeda was chained to a rock as a sacrifice. Persus killed the monster in order to claim Andromeda as his bride.

Articles you might also like...


1 more tips here { 04.20.16 at 5:02 am }

To make sure your computer is ready for the game you are interested in, go to an online store that carries the game, look at its software and hardware requirement details. From the space sim X-wing to the innovative RTS Empire at War, there was always something new for every Star Wars fan. There are plenty of real-time and turn-based strategy games, but few transpire in far-off galaxies and star systems.
more tips here

2 uhgkyur { 11.27.15 at 8:17 am }

your wrong

3 SawyerTheFirst { 03.04.14 at 5:01 pm }

I am sorry, but I think you are mistaken. Cetus the whale is the constellation. Cetus, the sea monster, is part of greek mythology.

Leave a Comment

Note: Comments that further the discussion of the above content are likely to be approved. Those comments that are vague or are simply submitted in order to promote a product, service or web site, although not necessarily considered "spam," are generally not approved.

If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1919, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.

Spring Is Here – Sign Up Today!

The Farmers' Almanac is a gardener's best friend. Get 365 days of access to our online weather and gardening calendars + a copy of the 2017 Almanac
for only $13.99 $11.99!

Subscribe Today »