Dad-stronomy 101: Gamma Cassiopeiae


Location: Cassiopeia Constellation

Classification: Eruptive variable star

Distance: ~550 light-years

Alternate Names: Tsih, Navi (after US astronaut Virgil Ivan Grissom’s middle name spelled backwards)

Apparent Magnitude: 2.47

Meaning of Name: in Chinese, it is named “the whip”

Fun Facts:

  • located as the center of the “W” asterism
  • it’s rapid rotational velocity gives it an equatorial bulge
  • Gamma Cassiopeiae has two optical companions, components B and C
  • the constellation Cassiopeia is located opposite the Big Dipper

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