The Andromeda constellation consists of 16 stars seen within the northern sky. Named by historical Greeks after the mythological Andromeda princess, the constellation incorporates the Andromeda Galaxy, the closest full-fledged galaxy to our personal Milky Way.
Andromeda is considered one of 48 constellations described by the Ancient Greek astronomer Claudius Ptolemy in 150 AD in his well-known work “The Almagest.”
Ptolemy’s record was the primary official description of constellations, though these stellar groupings had been recognized to historical Greeks, Babylonians, Egyptians and different cultures, who incessantly noticed them as embodiments of their legendary figures.
Andromeda is without doubt one of the largest of Ptolemy’s constellations.
Another 40 constellations had been added to Ptolemy’s tally over the centuries. Many of those additions reside within the southern sky, which was not seen to Ptolemy, who spent most of his life in Egypt.
Today, Andromeda is the nineteenth largest of the 88 constellations acknowledged by the International Astronomical Union.
Related: Constellations of the western zodiac
When to watch the Andromeda constellation
The Andromeda constellation might be greatest considered from the Northern Hemisphere, because it strikes decrease towards the horizon the farther south you stand. At about 40 levels south latitude it disappears utterly, in accordance with EarthSky. (The fortieth parallel south lies slightly below the southern suggestions of Africa and Australia and crosses the southernmost a part of South America).
In the Northern Hemisphere, Andromeda is greatest noticed from August to February, whereas within the Southern Hemisphere, the visibility interval is way shorter, from October to December, in accordance with PlanetGuide.
From August to September, within the Northern Hemisphere, Andromeda emerges on the north-eastern horizon at about 10 p.m. native time, then regularly rises overhead. From October to November, it emerges within the jap sky at round 8 p.m. From December to January, Andromeda rises at round 6 p.m. and strikes alongside the northwestern horizon, in accordance with Planet Guide.
How to search out the Andromeda constellation
Andromeda is a part of a giant outstanding group of constellations named after mythological figures associated to the Perseus and Andromeda myth. The pronounced W-shaped Cassiopeia constellation factors instantly at Andromeda.
With a little bit of creativeness, you may see the constellation as a sprawled determine with its arms prolonged. The determine’s ft level within the course of the Perseus constellation, proper subsequent to Cassiopeia. The determine’s “head” connects the constellation to the neighboring sq. of Pegasus.
The Andromeda myth
In historical Greek mythology, Andromeda was a good looking daughter of the king Cepheus and queen Cassiopeia. When her mom bragged that Andromeda was better-looking than the famously stunning Nereid sea nymphs, the ocean god Poseidon despatched his pet sea monster Cetus to destroy Cepheus’ kingdom.
It was stated, nevertheless, that sacrificing Andromeda may save the nation and its individuals. So, the loving dad and mom had their daughter chained to a rock by the ocean, in order that the ocean monster may get her simply. Fortunately, the charming prince Perseus flew previous on his winged horse Pegasus and fell in love with Andromeda’s magnificence. He killed Cetus and married Andromeda. The two lived fortunately ever after.
Stars of the Andromeda constellation
The Andromeda Constellation incorporates 9 major named stars, in accordance with Constellation Guide. Three of those stars are brighter than magnitude 3.00, which places them into the highest 100 brightest stars within the sky.
In addition to the seen stars, one can discover many intriguing objects inside the Andromeda constellation which can be solely seen with telescopes or binoculars. The most well-known considered one of these is the Andromeda Galaxy, the closest full-fledged galaxy to the Milky Way. Andromeda is at the moment about 2.5 million light-years from the Milky Way, and the 2 galaxies are on a collision course; a couple of billion years from now, they’ll smash into one another.
Alpheratz (Alpha Andromeda)
The brightest star within the Andromeda Constellation is Alpheratz, additionally referred to as Alpha Andromedae. Alpheratz is actually Andromeda’s head, nevertheless it’s additionally a part of the neighboring sq. of Pegasus.
Astronomers know right this moment that Alpheratz is positioned 97 light-years from Earth and is, in actual fact, a binary star, a system of two stars orbiting a standard heart of mass. The larger of these two stars has a novel chemical composition and is the brightest recognized star with excessive ranges of mercury and manganese. A so-called subgiant, this star is 200 occasions brighter than the solar whereas being lower than 4 occasions as huge.
The smaller star of the Alpheratz binary system is about 10 occasions as luminous because the solar and orbits the bigger star each 97 days, in accordance with the Constellation Guide.
Mirach, also called Beta Andromedae, is sort of as vibrant as Alpheratz and positioned about 200 light-years away from Earth. It is a huge star 1,900 occasions as vibrant because the solar, in accordance with the Constellation Guide, and three to 4 occasions as huge.
Within the Andromeda Constellation, Mirach varieties the chained determine’s left hip. Close to Mirach, astronomers can observe two distant dwarf galaxies positioned some 10 million light-years from Earth.
Almach, or Gamma Andramodae, is Andromeda’s foot. It is a multi-star system that includes a central large orbited by a pair of white dwarfs. The third brightest star of the Andromeda Constellation, Almach is about 350 light-years away from Earth. The star’s central large is 2,000 occasions extra luminous than the solar.
Other stars within the Andromeda Constellation:
Other stars within the Andromeda Constellation are Delta Andromedae, Iota Andromedae, Upsilon Andromedae, Adhil (or Xi Andromedae) and Mu Andromedae.
The Andromeda Galaxy, the Milky Way’s nearest main galactic neighbor, might be discovered inside the Andromeda Constellation. The galaxy, positioned some 2.5 million light-years away from Earth, is barely seen to the bare eye however might be discovered with binoculars.
The Andromeda Galaxy, also called M31, might be seen as a misty patch on the sting of the Andromeda Constellation to the best of the sprawled determine’s proper hip, which is correct subsequent to the intense star Mirach. The proper V form of the Cassiopeia constellation factors vaguely within the course of the galaxy.
Andromedids meteor bathe
The constellation additionally seemed to be the supply of the Andromedids Meteor bathe that used to happen each few years in November. But the celebrities of the constellation, clearly, had nothing to do with these capturing stars. The precise supply of the area rocks was a path of particles left behind by Comet Biela, and which Earth used to intersect each November. However, in latest many years, the as soon as mesmerizing show almost ceased, as our planet’s orbit moved out of the trail of the cometary particles.
Swinburne University of Technology, Constellation
Britannica, Andromeda Constellation
University of St. Andrews, Claudius Ptolemy https://mathshistory.st-andrews.ac.uk/Biographies/Ptolemy/