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Cetus - the Sea Monster (or Whale)


Mythology - Cetus is the sea monster or Kraken sent by Poseidon to devour Andromeda. The origins of this character are older than the story of Perseus however. Cetus was the mother of Phorcids who gave rise to the serpent-guard (Draco) in the Garden of the Hesperides, the Gorgons, Cerberus, the Hydra, the Chimera and others. In Christian mythology it was the whale that swallowed Jonah.
Stars - There is a famous star in Cetus by the name of Mira (the wonderful). It was first discovered to be
variable in 1596 and ranges in brightness from magnitude 2.5 to 9.3 over 331 days. At its maximum it is the brightest star in central Cetus and has a reddish tinge, at its minimum it cannot even be picked out in binoculars
Deepsky - M77 is a faint galaxy that is a challenging telescopic object even on a clear dark night. It is the prototype example of a Seyfert galaxy - one whose nucleus gives out strong radio emissions.
Visibility - Cetus is best seen in November