Andromeda is a constellation named for the princess Andromeda (Greek Ανδρομέδη = guardian of the men ), a character in Greek mythology. The constellation is in the northern sky near the constellation Pegasus. It is most notable for containing the Andromeda Galaxy. It is sometimes called "The Chained Maiden" in English.
Corresponding Chinese constellations in Andromeda are Flying serpent (螣蛇), Celestial stable (天廄), Wall (壁), Legs (奎), Southern military gate (南軍門) and Great general of the heaven (天大将軍).
The brightest star in the constellation is Alpheratz (Sirrah in the image), which marks her head, Bayer designation Alpha Andromedae. Formerly considered common to Andromeda and Pegasus, as confirmed by its name, "navel of the horse", it was also designated δ Pegasi. With α, β, and γ Pegasi it forms an asterism called the Great Square of Pegasus.
β Andromedae is called Mirach, the girdle. It is 200 light years distant and of magnitude 2.1.
γ Andromedae, or Almach, is found at the tip of the southern leg of the big "A". It is a beautiful multiple star with contrasting colours.
υ Andromedae has a planetary system with three confirmed planets, 0.71 times, 2.11 times, and 4.61 times the mass of Jupiter.
Additional Named Stars in Andromeda
* ζ.......Adhil........Arabic....train of a garment
* χ.......Nan Mun....Chinese...south gate
Notable deep sky objects
The most famous deep sky object in Andromeda is M31, the Andromeda Galaxy, one of the most distant objects visible to the naked eye (M33, the Triangulum Galaxy, is slightly farther). It is an enormous spiral galaxy much like the Milky Way. To find the galaxy, draw a line between β and μ Andromedae, and extend the line approximately the same distance again from μ.
If fainter stars, visible to the naked eye, in the constellation are considered, then the constellation takes the form of a stick-figure woman, with a prominent belt (as has the constellation Orion), where one arm has something long attached to it, giving the appearance of a female warrior holding a sword. This, together with other stars in the zodiac sign of Aries (part of Pisces, and the Pleiades), may be the origin of the myth of the girdle of Hippolyte, which forms part of The Twelve Labours of Herakles.
However, by including still fainter stars, the attachment extends in a different direction, giving the appearance of a maiden held by a chain. Together with other constellations nearby (Cassiopeia, Cepheus, Cetus, Pegasus, and Perseus), this may be the source of the myth of the Boast of Cassiopeia, with which it is usually identified.
* Ian Ridpath and Wil Tirion (2007). Stars and Planets Guide, Collins, London. ISBN 978-0007251209. Princeton University Press, Princeton. ISBN 978-0691135564.
* H. A. Rey, The Stars — A New Way To See Them. Enlarged World-Wide Edition. Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1997. ISBN 0-395-24830-2.
* NightSkyInfo.com: Constellation Andromeda * WIKISKY.ORG: Andromeda
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