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Posts Tagged ‘Great Square of Pegasus’

10/17/022 – Ephemeris – Andromeda, damsel in distress

October 17, 2022 Comments off

This is Ephemeris for Monday, October 17th. Today the Sun will be up for 10 hours and 53 minutes, setting at 6:54, and it will rise tomorrow at 8:02. The Moon, at last quarter today, will rise at 12:18 tomorrow morning

In the east at 9 this evening can be found a large square of stars, the Great Square of Pegasus the upside down flying horse. The square is standing on one corner. What looks like its hind legs stretching to the left from the left corner star is another constellation, Andromeda the chained princess. She is seen in the sky as two nearly horizontal but diverging curved strings of stars that curve upward. She was doomed due to her mother, Queen Cassiopeia’s boasting, which angered the god Poseidon. She was rescued by the hero Perseus, a nearby constellation, riding his steed Pegasus. Andromeda’s claim to scientific fame is the large galaxy seen as a faint fuzzy spot with the naked-eye just above the upper line of stars. The Great Andromeda Galaxy is two and a half million light years away.

The astronomical event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan (EDT, UT – 4 hours). They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Andromeda finder animation

Andromeda finder animation looking east at 9 pm tonight, October 17, 2022. The left corner star of the Great Square of Pegasus is called Alpheratz, and actually belongs to Andromeda. The faint fuzzy spot labeled M31 is the Great Andromeda Galaxy, the Milky Way’s large neighbor. I’ll talk more about it tomorrow. Click on the image to enlarge it. Created using Stellarium and GIMP.

I’ve related Andromeda’s story in my post The Great Star Story of Autumn.

08/27/2021 – Ephemeris – As Labor Day approaches, so do the autumn constellations

August 27, 2021 Comments off

This is Bob Moler with Ephemeris for Friday, August 27th. Today the Sun will be up for 13 hours and 28 minutes, setting at 8:27, and it will rise tomorrow at 7:00. The Moon, 3 days before last quarter, will rise at 11:01 this evening.

Rising in the east at as it gets dark around 9:30 p.m. we can preview one of the great autumn constellations: Pegasus the flying horse of Greek myth. Its most visible feature is a large square of four stars, now standing on one corner. This feature, called the Great Square of Pegasus, represents the front part of the horse’s body. The horse is quite aerobatic because it is seen flying upside down. Remembering that fact, the neck and head is a bent line of stars extending from the right corner star of the square. Its front legs can be seen in a gallop extending to the upper right from the top star of the square. From the left star extend, not hind legs but the constellation of Andromeda, an important constellation in its own right. The Anishinaabe peoples native to this region saw a right side up Moose (Mooz) in the stars here.

The astronomical event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan (EDT, UT – 4 hr). They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Pegasus

Pegasus image in the stars at 10 pm. Created using Stellarium. Drawing by Johan Meuris.

10/12/2017 – Ephemeris – Is it a flying horse or a moose?

October 12, 2017 1 comment

Ephemeris for Thursday, October 12th. The Sun will rise at 7:54. It’ll be up for 11 hours and 8 minutes, setting at 7:02. The Moon, at last quarter today, will rise at 1:02 tomorrow morning.

A reminder that fall is here is located high in the southeast around 9 p.m. It’s one of the great autumn constellations: Pegasus the flying horse of Greek myth. Its most visible feature is a large square of four stars, now standing on one corner. This feature, called the Great Square of Pegasus, represents the front part of the horse’s body. The horse is quite aerobatic, because it is seen flying upside down. Remembering that fact, the neck and head is a bent line of stars emanating from the right corner star of the square. Its front legs can be seen in a gallop extending to the upper right from the top star of the square. To the Anishinaabek peoples in the Great Lakes region it is the Moose, body where the square is and head where the front legs of Pegasus are.  It’s antlers use the stars of Lacerta the lizard.

The times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Pegasus and the Moose

Pegasus-Moose animation. The Anishinaabek constellation moose’s antlers in this imagining uses the stars of the Western constellation of Lacerta the lizard. Click on image to enlarge  Created using Stellarium and the GIMP.

The constellation art is part of the latest versions of Stellarium.  Western constellation art by Johan Meuris.  Ojibwe (Anishinaabek) constellation art by Annette S Lee and William Wilson from Ojibwe Sky Star Map Constellation Guide, ISBN 978-0-615-98678-4.

10/27/2016 – Ephemeris – Finding the Great Andromeda Galaxy

October 27, 2016 Comments off

Ephemeris for Thursday, October 27th.  The Sun will rise at 8:14.  It’ll be up for 10 hours and 23 minutes, setting at 6:37.  The Moon, 3 days before new, will rise at 6:02 tomorrow morning.

The closest large galaxy to our Milky Way galaxy is the Great Andromeda Galaxy seen in the eastern sky when it gets dark.  It is barely visible to the naked eye.  To locate it first find the Great Square of Pegasus high in the east, standing on one corner.  The left star of the square is the head of the constellation Andromeda.  Follow two stars to the left and a bit downward, then two stars straight up.  The galaxy is near that last star as a small smudge of light.  Binoculars are the best way to see it as a thin spindle of light.  A telescope can see only the bright nucleus of the galaxy, that spans 6 Moon diameters in photographs.  M31 is its first catalog designation and it is two and a half million light years away.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Andromeda at 9 p.m. with the Great Andromeda Galaxy. Created using Stellarium.

Andromeda in the evening with the Great Andromeda Galaxy. Astronomers called it a nebula before the discovered it was a galaxy like the Milky Way.  Created using Stellarium.

Great Andromeda Galaxy

The Great Andromeda Galaxy (M31) as seen in binoculars. Visually even in a telescope the hub of this galaxy is all that is seen. However it also can be seen with the naked eye. My photograph.

The Great Andromeda Galaxy (M31). Image taken by Scott Anttila.

The Great Andromeda Galaxy (M31). Image taken by Scott Anttila.

09/10/2015 – Ephemeris – Andromeda the chained maiden

September 10, 2015 Comments off

Ephemeris for Thursday, September 10th.  The Sun will rise at 7:15.  It’ll be up for 12 hours and 47 minutes, setting at 8:03.   The Moon, 3 days before new, will rise at 5:40 tomorrow morning.

In the east at 10 this evening can be found a large square of stars, the Great Square of Pegasus the flying horse.  The square is standing on one corner.  What look like its hind legs stretching to the left from the left corner star is another constellation, Andromeda the chained maiden.  She is seen in the sky as two diverging curved strings of stars that curve upward.  She was rescued by the hero Perseus, a nearby constellation, riding his steed Pegasus.  Andromeda’s claim to astronomical fame is the large galaxy seen with the unaided eye just above the upper line of stars.  The Great Andromeda Galaxy is two and a half million light years away.  To the unaided eye the galaxy appears as a small smudge of light.  In binoculars the galaxy is a delicate spindle of light.  The galaxy is known as M31, the 31st object on Charles Messier’s list of fuzzy objects that aren’t comets.

Times are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Andromeda at 9 p.m. with the Great Andromeda Galaxy. Created using Stellarium.

Andromeda at 10 p.m. with the Great Andromeda Galaxy. Created using Stellarium.