List of stars in Cetus
Abbreviation Cet
Genitive Ceti
Pronunciation /ˈsiːtəs/, genitive /ˈsiːtaɪ/
Symbolism the Whale, Shark, or Sea Monster
Right ascension 1.42 h
Declination −11.35°
Quadrant SQ1
Area 1231 sq. deg. (4th)
Main stars 15
Stars with planets 15
Stars brighter than 3.00m 2
Stars within 10.00 pc (32.62 ly) 9
Brightest star β Cet (Deneb Kaitos)† (2.04m)
Nearest star Luyten 726-8
(8.73 ly, 2.68 pc)
Messier objects 1
Meteor showers October Cetids
Eta Cetids
Omicron Cetids
Visible at latitudes between +70° and −90°.
Best visible at 21:00 (9 p.m.) during the month of November.
Note:Mira (ο Cet) is magnitude 2.0 at its brightest.

Cetus is a constellation. Its name refers to Cetus, a sea monster in Greek mythology, although it is often called 'the whale' today. Cetus is located in the region of the sky that contains other water-related constellations such as Aquarius, Pisces, and Eridanus.


Notable features


Although Cetus is not considered part of the zodiac, the ecliptic passes close to its constellation boundary, and thus the planets may be seen in Cetus for brief periods of time. This is even more true of asteroids, since their orbits usually have a greater inclination to the ecliptic than planets. For example, the asteroid 4 Vesta was discovered in this constellation in 1807.


The most notable star in Cetus is Mira (or ο 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. Its discovery in 1596 by David Fabricius further dented the supposed unchangeability of the heavens and lent support to the Copernican revolution.[citation needed]

Other stars in the constellation include α Ceti (Menkar); β Ceti (Deneb Kaitos), brightest in the constellation; and τ Ceti, the 17th closest star to Earth.

Deep sky objects

Cetus lies far from the galactic plane, so that many distant galaxies are visible, unobscured by dust from the Milky Way. Of these, the brightest is Messier 77 (NGC 1068), a 9th magnitude spiral galaxy near δ Ceti. Recently, the galactic cluster JKCS 041 was confirmed to be the most distant cluster of galaxies yet discovered.[1]


In Chinese astronomy, the stars of Cetus are found among two areas: the Black Tortoise of the North (北方玄武, Běi Fāng Xuán Wǔ) and the White Tiger of the West (西方白虎, Xī Fāng Bái Hǔ).


USS Cetus (AK-77) was a United States Navy Crater class cargo ship named after the constellation.

See also


External links

Coordinates: Sky map 01h 25m 12s, −11° 21′ 00″

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Cetus — Nombre Latino Cetus Abreviatura Cet …   Wikipedia Español

  • Cetus — steht für: eine Figur der griechischen Mythologie, siehe Keto (Mythologie) die lateinische Bezeichnung für ein Sternbild, siehe Walfisch (Sternbild) Diese Seite ist eine Begriffsklärung zur Unterscheidung mehrerer mit demselb …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Cetus — (v. gr.), 1) Wallfisch, u. bes. Pottwall: 2) das Sternbild der Wallfisch …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Cetus — Cetus, Sternbild, s. Walfisch …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Cetus — Cetus, Sternbild, s. Walfisch …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Cetus — (la ballena o el monstruo marino) es una constelación del hemisferio sur, en una región conocida como Agua, cerca de otras constelaciones como Aquarius, Piscis y Eridanus …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Cetus — Cetus,   Abkürzung Cet, lateinische Bezeichnung für das Sternbild Walfisch.   …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Cetus — [sēt′əs] n. [L, whale] an equatorial constellation near Pisces …   English World dictionary

  • Cetus — Baleine (constellation) Pour les articles homonymes, voir Baleine (homonymie). Baleine …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Cetus — noun Etymology: Latin (genitive Ceti), literally, whale Date: 1825 an equatorial constellation south of Pisces and Aries …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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