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Jan 19th, 2018, 11:33am

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xx Today's Astronomy Lesson
« Thread started on: Sep 13th, 2017, 12:09pm »

Use Cassiopeia to Find the Andromeda galaxy

First, Find Cassiopeia

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You can find Cassiopeia somewhere in the north for much of the year, and much of the night. Here it is on a September or October evening, relative to Polaris, the North Star.

The constellation Cassiopeia the Queen can be found high in the northeast on October evenings, not far from Polaris, the North Star. At any time of year, you can use the Big Dipper to find Cassiopeia. These two star formations are like riders on opposite side of a Ferris wheel. They spin around Polaris, the North Star, once a day. As one rises upward, the other plunges downward, and vice versa.

Use Her to Find Andromeda

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Note the M or W shape of Cassiopeia. Note that one half of the W is more deeply notched than the other half. This deeper V is your “arrow” in the sky, pointing to the Andromeda galaxy.

On a clear night, if you have good eyes, you can spot this galactic neighbor. For many of us, a pair of binoculars helps!

The Andromeda Galaxy

The Andromeda Galaxy, also known as Messier 31, M31, or NGC 224, is a spiral galaxy approximately 2.5 million light-years from Earth. It is the nearest major galaxy to the Milky Way. (Just remember, when you see Andromeda, you are looking back in time 2.5 million years.)

Andromeda is approximately 220,000 light years across, and it is the largest galaxy of the Local Group, which also contains the Milky Way, the Triangulum Galaxy, and other smaller galaxies.

The 2006 observations by the Spitzer Space Telescope revealed that Andromeda contains one trillion stars: at least twice the number of stars in the Milky Way, which is estimated to be 200–400 billion.

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xx Re: Today's Astronomy Lesson
« Reply #1 on: Sep 13th, 2017, 5:23pm »

Thanks Swamprat,

I'll use this.


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