It is shaped like a W, with a makeup of five second- and third-magnitude stars,
Nu Cassiopeiae (ν Cas, ν Cassiopeiae) is a star in the constellation Cassiopeia. ν Cassiopeiae is a blue-white B-type giant with an apparent magnitude of +4.90. It is approximately 390 light years from Earth.
Tau Cassiopeiae (τ Cas, τ Cassiopeiae) is a star in the constellation Cassiopeia. τ Cassiopeiae is an orange K-type giant with an apparent magnitude of +4.88. It is approximately 172.8 light years from Earth.
In Chinese, 螣蛇 (Téng Shé), meaning Flying Serpent, refers to an asterism consisting of τ Cassiopeiae, α Lacertae, 4 Lacertae, Cygni2π, Cygni1π, HD 206267, ε Cephei, β Lacertae, σ Cassiopeiae, ρ Cassiopeiae, AR Cassiopeiae, 9 Lacertae, 3 Andromedae, 7 Andromedae, 8 Andromedae, λ Andromedae, κ Andromedae, ι Andromedae, and ψ Andromedae. Consequently, τ Cassiopeiae itself is known as 螣蛇十三 (Téng Shé shísān, English: the Thirteenth Star of Flying Serpent)
Cassiopeia is a constellation in the northern sky, named after the vain queen Cassiopeia in Greek mythology, who boasted about her unrivalled beauty. Cassiopeia was one of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd century Greek astronomer Ptolemy, and it remains one of the 88 modern constellations today. It is easily recognizable due to its distinctive 'W' shape, formed by five bright stars. It is bordered by Andromeda to the south, Perseus to the southeast, and Cepheus to the north. It is opposite the Big Dipper, and from northern latitudes can be seen at its clearest in early November.
The four brightest stars of Cassiopeia are all brighter than the third magnitude. Alpha Cassiopeiae, traditionally called "Shedir", is a double star. The primary is an orange-hued giant of magnitude 2.2, 229 light-years from Earth. The secondary is widely separated from the primary and is of magnitude 8.9. Its traditional name means "the breast". Caph, designated Beta Cassiopeiae, is a white-hued star of magnitude 2.3, 54 light-years from Earth. The two other notably bright stars in Cassiopeia are both variable stars. Gamma Cassiopeiae is a shell star, a type of variable star that has a very high rate of rotation. This causes the star to be somewhat unstable and periodically eject rings of material. Gamma Cassiopeiae has a minimum magnitude of 3.0 and a maximum magnitude of 1.6; it is currently approximately magnitude 2.2. Delta Cassiopeiae, also known as "Ruchbah", is a Algol-type eclipsing variable star. It varies by 0.1 magnitudes around magnitude 2.7; its period is 2 years and 1 month. Ruchbah appears to have a blue-white hue and it is 99 light-years from Earth. Astrology