Cassiopeia is generally known as being the W-shaped constellation in the northern hemisphere, between Cepheus and Perseus and near Polaris. The constellation itself is said to be Cassiopeia's Chair because it resembles a chair. She is often times called "heaven's troubled queen." Cassiopeia was a Greek queen, wife of Cepheus, and at one time boasted that she was more beautiful than even the sea nymphs. The nymphs in turn arranged it so that when the queen was placed among the stars following her death, she would sit in a chair which turned upside-down around the celestial north pole to teach her humility.

In 1572, a new star appeared within the constellation, named Tycho's Star after the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe. The star lived for only a year and a half, then flashed out brighter than the planet Venus in a correlation of brilliant white, then red, then died away.