Have you ever tried to look up at the sky and connect them to create a pattern? If yes, then you already know the concept of constellations.
Locating a constellation in our beautiful night sky is a unique and exciting experience.
in today’s article, we’re discussing Andromeda constellation facts to help you identify, locate, and understand it.
Let’s get started!
Andromeda Constellation Facts Everyone Should Know
Andromeda Constellation is one of the constellations first listed by Ptolemy, an ancient Greco-Egyptian astronomer, in the 2nd century.
It’s the 19th largest of the 88 modern constellations of our night sky.
It occupies about 722 square degrees of the sky.
The Andromeda constellation is a member of the Perseus family of constellations.
This family includes Auriga, Cetus, Perseus, Cassiopeia, Triangulum, Andromeda, and Lacerta.
Don’t mistake the Andromeda constellation with the Andromeda galaxy.
The Andromeda galaxy actually lies within the constellation.
The constellation is named after Andromeda, the child of Cepheus and Cassiopeia in Greek mythology.
Andromeda was famed for her beauty as well as her vanity.
Her arrogance drove her to upset the Nereids, the beautiful sea nymphs, by challenging them that her beauty is unmatched, even by them.
The Nereids complained to Poseidon. As a punishment, he decided to unleash a sea monster to destroy Cepheus’s kingdom.
Cepheus and Cassiopeia decided to chain Andromeda to a rock as a sacrifice to the monster, hoping to get their kingdom back.
Luckily, Perseus saved her and killed the sea monster. Later, they got married, and their story got documented in Greek Mythology forever.
Connecting the bordering stars in Andromeda, you can notice that it looks like a person chained from both hands.
This refers to the sacrificed princess, Andromeda.
This is why the constellation is referred to as “the chained lady” or “the chained woman.”
It’s also called Persea, which means “Perseus’ wife.”
The International Astronomical Union (IAU) uses the name “the chained maiden” as the English name for the Andromeda constellation.
Other names include Mulier Catenata in Latin and al-Mar’a al Musalsalah in Arabic, meaning the chained woman.
The Andromeda constellation is located between latitudes +90° and -40° in the northern hemisphere, particularly in the first quadrant.
Luckily, we can locate the Andromeda constellation from both the northern and southern hemispheres of the sky.
However, it’s best viewed in the north part since it disappears in places further south -40°.
Its neighboring constellations include Pisces, Pegasus, Cassiopeia, Triangulum, and Lacerta.
If you know how to locate any of the neighboring constellations, it’ll be easier for you to find Andromeda.
Now that you know how to identify the Andromeda constellation, when is the best time to view it?
Andromeda is considered a seasonal constellation. So, we can only view it at specific times of the year.
In the northern hemisphere, you can view the constellation from August to February.
In the southern hemisphere, it’s visible from October to December.
Andromeda is among the most prominent constellations in the universe.
So, we know for sure it has many interesting stars.
The constellation has 16 main stars. Nine of them have official names.
Some of them are Veritate, Nembus, Buna, Adhil, Alpheratz, Titawin, Sterrennacht, and Almach.
The Andromeda constellation also contains three stars that are brighter than magnitude 3.00.
This includes Alpheratz, which is the brightest of them all.
Besides, it contains three stars located within 32.6 light-years (10 parsecs) of Earth.
Fun fact: Ross 248 is the closest out of them to Earth. It’s only 10.30 light-years away from us.
Alpheratz, also known as Alpha Andromedae or Sirrah, is the brightest star in the Andromeda constellation.
It has an apparent magnitude of +2.06.
It’s 200 hundred times brighter than our sun, so you can imagine how bright it shines.
This star is a binary system that consists of two stars orbiting a center of mass.
It’s located at a distance of 97 light-years from our planet. Its surface temperature is also 13,800K.
The name “Alpheratz” is obtained from the Arabic term “surrat al-faras,” which refers to “the navel of the horse.” The horse here refers to Pegasus.
Among the things that make the Andromeda constellation unique and interesting are its Messier objects and other deep-sky objects.
- Messier 31 (NGC 224) aka Andromeda Galaxy
- Andromeda satellites
- NGC 206
- Globular clusters, such as Mayall II (NGC 224-G1)
- Dwarf elliptical galaxies, such as Messier 110
- Open clusters, such as NGC 752 (Caldwell 28) and NGC 7686
- Blue Snowball Nebula (NGC 7662)
It’s also known as Messier 31 or NGC 224.
This galaxy is among the brightest Messier objects in the constellation.
Similar to the Milky Way, the Andromeda galaxy is a spiral one.
It contains a trillion stars, which is about 200-400 billion stars more than the Milky Way.
The Andromeda galaxy is located about 2.2 to 2.5 million light-years away from Earth.
It’s considered the farthest celestial object that can be seen with the naked eye.
The Andromeda constellation seems to be the source of the Andromedids meteor shower.
This meteor shower usually occurs every few years in November.
It was first documented on the 6th of December 1741 in Russia.
Since then, the meteor shower isn’t as active because the Earth’s orbit has moved out of the path of the cometary debris.
Here you have it; interesting Andromeda constellation facts.
Hope you enjoyed reading this article and learned something new!
Now all you need to do to complete your learning journey about this constellation is to mark the months of the calendar where it would be best for you to view it.
Don’t forget to check tips for viewing it from where you live.
Sometimes, constellations are very easy to detect from some locations and impossible to notice in others.
You might also enjoy learning about:
- Mensa Constellation Facts
- Lynx Constellation Facts
- Libra Constellation Facts
- Kid-Friendly Constellation Stories
- Can You Grow Grass on Mars?
- Can You Breathe on Venus?
- Stellar Parallax (What Are They?)
- Facts About the Sun
- Do All Planets Rotate in the Same Direction?
- Can You Breathe on Saturn?