The constellation Andromeda is attached to one of the four corners of the great square of Pegasus. As such, both the Andromeda and Pegasus constellations share one bright star. Officially, the star belongs to the Andromeda constellation and is named alpha Andromedae.
The constellation appears as two lines of stars coming out of a common point and forming an acute angle. Essentially, it looks like a curved “V” as depicted on the image to the right. One of the lines is made up of much brighter stars than the other, so that Andromeda sometimes appears simply as a single line of four stars stretching forth from Pegasus.
Constellation Andromeda Mythology
Andromeda is named after another major character in the Medusa myth. Her husband and rescuer is Perseus. She is the daughter of Cassiopeia (mother) and Cepheus (father). Although Andromeda is at a point of the sky south of her parents, she can easily be found close by Perseus and Cassiopeia. Andromeda was an Ethiopian princess rescued by Perseus, after she was chained to some rocks by the sea, just off the coast of Jaffa in southern Tel-Aviv.
According to the Greek stories, it was the goddess Athena who placed Andromeda’s image among the stars, between Perseus and Cassiopeia, with the constellation Pisces lying between her and the sea monster Cetus.
Andromeda Galaxy and DSO’s
The constellation Andromeda is best known for the Andromeda galaxy, a large spiral galaxy that is visible to the naked eye under very dark skies. In fact, the Andromeda galaxy is the most distant object of the universe you can see without visual aids. It is also the closest spiral galaxy to our own. Eventually, both our Milky Way galaxy and the Andromeda galaxy will collide, in about 3 to 5 billion years. The light emanating from it takes 2,500,000 years to reach us.
Constellation Andromeda is also home to a triple star system called delta Andromedae. It consists of upsilon Andromedae, which has a planetary system with three extrasolar planets, iota Andromedae, a blue-white dwarf, and xi Andromedae or Adhil, a binary star classified as an orange K-type giant.
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