The constellation of Perseus
In Greek mythology the hero Perseus chopped off the Gorgon, Medusa’s head and used its ability to turn whatever looked at it to stone in order to save the beautiful princess Andromeda, who was chained to the rocks by the coast, from the sea monster Cetus.
Whilst not the most obvious of constellations to find in the night sky, it was one of 48 constellations to feature in 2nd Century Greek astronomer Ptolemy’s almanac. Perhaps the most famous star is the eye of Medusa – Algol – a variable, triple star system. This is 3 stars orbiting one another changing the apparent brightness of the ‘star’ we see from Earth over a period of just a few days. The brightest star in the constellation though is Mirphak.
The Perseid meteor shower is one of the most notable of the annual astronomy caldendar and appear to emminate from the constellation of Perseus.
The Perseids can see as many as 60 to 100 meteors per hour for viewers in the Northern hemisphere from late July to late August.