Andromeda is a constellation of the Northern skies. Just like the Great Bear she can be observed all-the-year round. For astronomers Andromeda is a very well-known constellation, given that in her vicinity one can find M 31, the Andromeda galaxy, the spiral galaxy to the Milky Way.
Shape and position:
Andromeda is connected to the rectangle of Pegasus through the star Alpheratz (to be seen on the bottom right on the picture). The three brightest stars of Andromeda Alamak, Mirach and Sirrah, all lie on an almost perfectly straight line. Under benign weather conditions one can spot a weak gleaming nebulous dot just north of δ Andromedae. This nebular dot represents nothing else but Galaxy M 31, the famous Andromeda nebula.
Right ascension: 22h 57m to 2h 33m
Declination: +21° to +53°
Brightest star: Alpha Andromedae (also Alpheratz or Sirrah)
The Ethiopian king Cepheus and his wife Cassiopeia had committed the sin of vanity. Cassiopeia had claimed to be more beautiful than even the Nereids, aquatic goddesses of Greek mythology. The Nereids complained to the sea god Poseidon about this insult, who sent out the sea monster Ketos, that devastated the shores of the country. According to an oracle the country could only be freed from the curse if Andromeda, the only child of the royal family, would be sacrificed to the sea monster. Mercilessly Andromeda was tied to a rock next to the sea, where she had to wait for the monster to come and eat her alive. Perseus defeated the monster, saved Andromeda and married her.
Best season for observation: All year round
Neighbouring constellations: Cassiopeia, Lizard, Pegasus, Fish, Triangle, Perseus