20 May 2019
Ever tried to locate beautiful constellations on a dark, clear sky? The display of stars and constellations on bright sky is a fascinating sight to witness. The official figures given by astronomers is that there are a total of 88 constellations.
Andromeda is one of the largest constellation which can be seen in both the Southern and Northern hemisphere. During the months of February and August, Andromeda can be seen in the Northern Hemisphere while you can locate it in the Southern Hemisphere from October to December.
One of the fascinating facts about it is that it hosts the Andromeda Galaxy known as M31 which is believed to be the best-known deep-sky objects. The Andromeda galaxy is 2.5 million light years from Earth. It is the furthest object from the Earth and can still be seen with a naked eye.
Famous Legends associated with Andromeda Constellation
Different cultures have different legends about Andromeda. In Greek mythology, Andromeda is remembered as a mythical princess and the daughter of King Cepheus and Queen Cassiopeia.
The myth goes that Queen Cassiopeia made an attempt to sacrifice her daughter as an abomination for her sins. However, she was rescued by Perseus who intended to marry her. After saving her from a deadly end, Perseus demanded that Andromeda become his wife.
Both of them married and had nine children together. Perseus established the kingdom of Mycenae and subsequently Persideae dynasty. When Andromeda died, Athena placed her in the sky as a constellation so as to honor her life.
Quick Facts about Andromeda Constellation
Andromeda consists of 16 main stars. The stars, Alpheratz & Mirach are its brightest stars. Some of its important stars are described below:
Alpheratz is a binary star. It is located less than 100 light-years away from planet Earth.
On the other hand, Mirach is a giant star that appears red when seen on night sky. It lies 200 light-years away. Scientists believe that Andromeda galaxy and the Milky Way galaxy will one day collide so as to merge together in order to create a larger galaxy.
Delta Andromedae is a double star in the Andromeda constellation and has a magnitude of 3.28. It is 101 light years distant from solar system.
Upsilon Andromedae is yet another star system in the Andromeda constellation. Upsilon Andromeda consists of a yellowish-white dwarf as well as a red dwarf. Upsilon Andromedae A is its primary star which has four planets in orbit.
Another beautiful star of the Andromeda constellation is Adhil, or Xi Andromedae. It is also a double star which is approximately 196 light years away and has magnitude of +4.875.
Nembus, or 51 Andromedae, is an orange colored K-type giant which has a magnitude of 3.57. It is the fifth brightest star in the Andromeda constellation.
Andromeda also consists of a meteor shower which is known as the Adromedids. It appears every November. These meteors look like red fireballs with trails. Our galaxy is full of such beautiful constellations and stars which has kept the astronomers curious for centuries.