A northern constellation that is most easily seen around October, the Andromeda constellation is one of the largest of all the 88 constellations. The most famous object is the nearest spiral galaxy to Earth, the Great Andromeda Galaxy (M-31) which is visible with the naked eye. It is very similar to our own milky way in size and structure and usually appears as a hazy glow.
The head of Andromeda is shared with one of the corners of the “Great Square” of the constellation Pegasus. It is a 2.2 magnitude and name “Alpheratz” or “Horse Navel.” The second brightest star in the group is Mirach, meaning waist or girdle.
Mirach is a Yellow 2.3 magnitude star. The constellation is viewable year-round in the northern hemisphere and seasonally to up to 40° south of the equator.
Right Ascension: 12:50
Diameter (°): 25
Area (square °): 722
Opposition: Oct 07
Size Rank: 19th
Brightness Rank: 27th
Major stars in Andromeda
Alpheratz – α Andromedae (Alpha Andromedae)
Mirach – β Andromedae (Beta Andromedae)
Almach – γ Andromedae (Gamma Andromedae)
δ Andromedae (Delta Andromedae)
ι Andromedae (Iota Andromedae)
υ Andromedae (Upsilon Andromedae)
Adhil – ξ Andromedae (Xi Andromedae)
Nembus – 51 Andromedae
μ Andromedae (Mu Andromedae)
Mythology of the Constellation Andromeda
The daughter of Cepheus and Cassiopeia, King and Queen of Ethiopia, Princess Andromeda was promised in marriage to her uncle, Phineus, the king of Thrace. Like the beautiful constellations themselves, Cassiopeia and Andromeda, mother and daughter were extraordinarily lovely. Queen Cassiopeia was also vain and foolish. The arrogant Queen claimed that she and Andromeda were even more beautiful that the 50 Sea Nymphs (also known as the Nereids).
It angered the Sea Nymphs and in turn Poseidon (also called Neptune), the God of the sea, for any human to compare themselves in this manner. The punishment was to be severe. The kingdom of Ethiopia was flooded and the Sea Serpent, Cetus, was sent to ravage the people of the kingdom.
The oracle of Jupiter, Ammon, was consulted. He said nothing could pacify the anger of Neptune unless the beautiful Andromeda should be exposed to the sea monster. In desperation, it was decided that the only way to save the kingdom was to offer up lovely Andromeda as a sacrifice. Accordingly, Andromeda was chained to a rock.
All of this happened near Joppa (probably now Jaffa in Syria). The moment the monster Cetus saw Andromeda, he knew he was onto a good thing and went for her. That’s when Perseus, who was returning through the air from the conquest of the Gorgon Medusa, saw her. Thinking that the monster had ideas outside the ordinary course of monsters, Perseus made his own move on her. made his own move on her.
“Chained to a rock she stood; Young Perseus stayed His rapid flight, to woo the beauteous maid.”
Perseus promised to save Andromeda and destroy the monster if Cepheus would give him her hand in marriage. Cepheus consented and Perseus slayed the monster using the same magical sword used to slay Medusa. slayed the monster using the same magical sword used to slay Medusa.
The wedding feast was interrupted by the appearance of the jealous, enraged King Phineus, who had been betrothed to Andromeda. A battle ensued and Perseus slayed Phineus by showing him Medusa’s head, which he held up triumphantly, turning Phineus to stone.
According to mythology, the couple went on to have 7 sons and 2 daughters. Perseus’ bravery in slaying the Sea Monster Cetus was memorialized in the stars. After the death of Andromeda, the Goddess Athena (Also Known as Minerva) placed Andromeda and Perseus together forever as constellations in the northern sky, next to her parents Cassiopeia and Cepheus.
To find it, look for a constellation Cassiopeia in the northern part of the sky, what is shaped like letter W. Andromeda constellation is located directly next to it, and is also connected to the stars that make up the constellation Pegasus. There, the constellations still shine year-round. There, the constellations still shine year-round.