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Andromeda is a large constellation in the northern hemisphere.

Andromeda, named after the daughter of Cassiopeia, plays a prominent role in Greek mythology, but has been known as a constellation even before that. It is one of the 48 original Ptolemaic Constellations.

Alpheratz (α And) is the brightest star in the constellation. Until the IAU explicitly defined the boundaries of the constellations (adopted in 1928, published in 1930), Alpheratz was considered a star of both the constellation Andromeda (as α And) and the constellation Pegasus (as δ Peg).

Andromeda in the Night Sky
This section describes the constellation as it is seen in the night sky.

For myth and star lore about Andromeda click here.

For a listing of names of objects within the boundaries of Andromeda click here.

Star maps based on map provided by Sea & Sky

The stars of Andromeda

Number Desig-
Number Desig-
1 M31 Andromeda Galaxy
13 υ Titawin
2 M32 Messier 32 / NGC 221
14 κ Kappa Andromedae
3 M110 Messier 110 / NGC 205
15 φ Phi Andromedae
4 α Alpheratz
16 ι Keff al Salsalat
5 β Mirach
17 π Pi Andromedae
6 γ Almach
18 ε Epsilon Andromedae
7 δ Sadiradra
19 η Eta Andromedae
8 51 Nembus
20 σ Sigma Andromedae
9 ο Omicron Andromedae
21 ν Nu Andromedae
10 λ Lambda Andromedae
22 θ Theta Andromedae
11 μ Mu Andromedae
23 ξ Adhil
12 ζ Zeta Andromedae

The Andromeda Galaxy

The Andromeda Galaxy is one of our closest galactic neighbors - about two and a half million light years away. It is part of the so called Local Group of galaxies, which includes the Milky Way, the Magellanic Clouds, the Triangulum Galaxy and a number of smaller galaxies.

The Andromeda Galaxy is the only object in the northern hemisphere that can be identified as something other than a star without the aid of telescopes.

The first record of it (describing it as a "nebulous smear") was made around the year 964 by Persian astronomer al-Sufi in his Book of Fixed Stars.

In 1614, German astronomer Simon_Marius gave the first scientific description of the Andromeda Galaxy based on telescopic observations. In 1745, French philosopher Pierre Louis Maupertuis was the first to suggest that the "nebulous smear" was actually a collection of stars.

In 1888, Welsh hobby astronomer and astrophotographer Isaac Roberts Roberts took a picture of the "Andromed Nebula" in unpecedented detail.

The photograph revealed that the "nebula" had a spiral structure, which was quite unexpected at the time. The Photograph caused a "quantum leap" in astronomy as it made clear that this was not a nebula.

The confirmation that the "Andromeda Nebula" was a galaxy was made by Edwin Hubble in 1924.

Sources: Wikipedia, NASA

Andromeda Galaxy seen with the naked eye

Telescope image © David Dayag

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