PERSEUS

The main body of Perseus, surrounding the bright star Mirfak (Alpha Persei), streams within the Milky Way to the left of center. North is to the left. Most of the stars clumped around Mirfak are part of the Alpha Persei cluster. To the right of center and a bit above Mirfak is the bright and famed eclipsing double star Algol, Beta Persei, which represents the head of the Medusa, one of the Gorgons. Three other "Gorgonea" wrap around to the right of Algol, from top to bottom Secunda (Pi), Tertia (Rho), and Quarta (Omega). Gamma is the brightest of the stars toward the upper left, while Eta is just up and to the left of it and Tau up and to the right of it (with Theta up and to the right of Tau). Epsilon, Xi (Menkib), and Zeta lie at lower right on a line roughly parallel to the bottom of the photo, while Nu is just up and to the left of Epsilon. Atik (Omicron) is just above Zeta, while 40 Per is just up and to the right of Atik. Delta is the brightest star just down and to the right of Mirfak, while Iota is directly above it. 53 Persei is directly down from Delta toward the bottom of the picture; 48 Per is then up and just a bit to the left of 53. Then look immediately down and to the left of 48 to find Mu. Perseus is home to the famed Double Cluster, not seen here but visible in the photo of the neighboring constellation Cassiopeia.

To see a labelled image, push the star:

See Perseus from Bayer's Uranometria of 1603 and from Bode's Uranographia of 1801.

See a wide-angle view of Cassiopeia and Perseus.

See the path of Comet Holmes.

See the variation of Algol.

For more on Perseus, see Horsing Around at Stellar Stories.

By Jim Kaler. Return to STARS.