The Cetus Constellation is a scientific term which refers to the constellation star, Cetus which was long ago translated to Latin from the Greek language where the word, “Cetus,” could be defined as a sea monster of some kind, like a whale. Later the word began to be used to describe a constellation of big, bright monster stars in the northern, winter sky. Then again, another way to describe The Cetus Constellation could be its use as a name sake in an episode of Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda, where a giant planet consuming space creature is referred to as, “The Cetus.”
Since human beings arrived on this earthly scene, we’ve been gazing up at the stars, and in trying to comprehend the massive sky and the stars that fill it, human beings have always tried to make sense of it by rationalizing an incomprehensible thing through some kind of story that makes more sense, and when gazing up at The Cetus Constellation, the big, bright stars inspired a wide range of stories and myths, along with some scientific discoveries.
This constellation’s star is Mira, otherwise known as Ceti. It’s the first variable star to be discovered and over a period of 331.65 days, it can reach a maximum magnitude that’s extremely high, so it’s one of the brightest stars in the sky, easily visible to the naked eye. Then again, it can drop in magnitude again. It was discovered in 1596 by David Fabricius, and when he did, the discovery continued to deny the supposed unchangeability of the sky, so it led to support of a Copernican revolution.
Other stars within the constellation include a-Ceti Menkar, B-Ceti, Deneb Kaitos, which is the brightest within the constellation, and T-Ceti, the 17th closest star to Earth.(*) The ecliptic is the apparent path that the Sun traces out in the sky during the year and as it appears to move in the sky among the stars, the apparent path alines with the planets through the year. It’s the intersection of a spherical surface, which is the geometric plane containing the mean orbit of the Earth around the Sun. The word, “ecliptic,” is derived from the place where eclipses occur. The invariable ecliptic plane is perpendicular to the vector sun of the angular moments of all planet’s orbital planes, and Jupiter is the main contributor to this. The ecliptic plane needs to be distinguished from the invariable plane because the ecliptic plane is inclined to the invariable ecliptic plane. The ecliptic passes close to the constellation border of Cetus, so the planets may be in this constellation for short periods of time, especially for asteroids whose orbits usually have greater inclination to the ecliptic than planets do.
The asteroid 4 Vesta was discovered in 1807 as the second most massive object in the asteroid group with a mean diameter of around 329 miles and an estimated mass of 99% of the mass of the entire asteroid group. Discovered by a German astronomer, Heinrich Wilhelm Olbers in 1807, it was named after the Roman virgin goddess of home and health, “Vesta.” Since the Cetus is far away from the galactic plane, many distant galaxies are visible and not observed by dust from the Milky Way. The brightest is Messier, a 9th magnitude spiral galaxy.
The myths about this constellation go back a very long time, since antiquity. In Mesopotamia, it was identified by the times idea of a cosmic female being a sea monster. Greek legends said it represented the gates of the underworld, which was considered to be the area under the ecliptic. This, together with other myths in the Zodiac sign of Pisces, probably created the myth of the capture of Cerberus in, “The Twelve Labours of Hercules. “
The Arabs believed one of the hands of the Pleiades extended into part of the constellation Cetus, and also thought they saw two pearl necklaces in the midst of the stars of Cetus. They saw and perceived that the one pearl necklace was tied together and undamaged, but the other pearl necklace was broken and its pearls were scattered. Then, another generation of Arabs, the ancient Hebrews and Greeks, perceived an enormous sea creature among the stars of Cetus, so you see scientific discoveries take a long time to be achieved. Still, when they are, we find that we can actually see beyond the stars.