Cassiopeia #2 is one of Cornell's final series of boxes, known as the Space Object or Celestial Navigation series. The work is composed of several objects that recur in his oeuvre: a cordial glass, a painted cork ball balanced on parallel metal rods, and a collaged cutout of an astrological illustration. Drawing upon Surrealist techniques, Cornell installs these disparate objects in a mysteriously purposeful manner, creating a diorama of the imagination. Cornell presents Cassiopeia #2 as a window between one world and another, between the finite environment created within the box and the infinite universe that lies beyond.
Of these late boxes Deborah Solomon writes: "all in all, Cornell's Space Objects boxes, with their gently rhyming circular shapes, hark back to his very first shadow box, his Soap Bubble Set of 1936. Yet now the childhood bubbles have vanished; coldly orbiting planets appear in their place. The boxes hint at a longing for romantic attachment and a kind of sexual frozenness that makes romance impossible, except as experienced through the artist's solitary celestial navigations" (D. Solomon, Utopia Parkway: The Life and Work of Joseph Cornell, New York, 1997, p. 249).