Click here to see one of the pictures I took with a 55mm camera lens and settings of: 8 seconds; F5.6; ISO 1600. The picture is reduced around 75% from the original to full screen size (1650 x 1100) but the insert of M-31 is from the full size picture, and shows a little more detail. Unknown to me until I looked at the pictures on the computer was a light path left by a satellite that was moving from the northeast toward the southwest.
The slideshow below could help to recognize the star patterns making up these two constellations. They are shown about how they appear as they rise in the east during late evenings this month. Finding the Andromeda Galaxy is easy as long as you are able to find the stars of the ‘Square of Pegasus’, an asterism using 3 stars from the constellation Pegasus the Winged Horse and one star, the head, from Andromeda the Princess. To find the galaxy first find the upper left corner star of the square, Alpheratz. Imagine a check mark shape and that you are at the end of the long part of the checkmark marked by Alpheratz. Now, starting with Alpheratz count 3 stars – Alpheratz, Delta Andromedae, Mirach. Then turn right to make the shorter part of the check mark, and count 3 more stars – Mirach, Mu Andromedae, M-31. Actually the third ‘star’ is the galaxy, and to the naked-eye should look like a fuzzy out of focus patch of light.
To pause the slideshow move the cursor over the pictures to bring up the controls.
Click here to go to the Qué tal in the Current Skies web site for more observing information for this month.