Constellation guide to the 88 official constellations which divide up the sky. These constellations are used to help navigate the celestial sphere. The Constellations are patterns in the sky which have been to invented and have deep mythology behind them. Constellations cover massive areas in the sky and as such are very easy to find.
Cetus is a constellation of the southern sky, in the region known as the Water, near other watery constellations like Aquarius, Pisces, and Eridanus.
This constellation's most notable star is Mira (? Ceti), the first variable star to be discovered. Over a period of 331.65 days it can reach a maximum magnitude as high as 2.0m, one of the brightest in the sky and easily visible to the unaided eye, then drop to 10.1m and back again.
This constellation has been known since antiquity. In Mesopotamia, it was identified with the primordial cosmic female principle, the sea-monster Tiamat.
In Greek mythology, together with the constellations above it, of Andromeda, Cepheus, Perseus, Cassiopeia, and possibly Pegasus), this may be the source of the myth of the Boast of Cassiopeia, with which it is usually identified.
In certain earlier Greek mythology, it also represented the gates (and gateposts) of the underworld (considered to be the area under the ecliptic).
Last updated on: Monday 3rd April 2017