Andromeda-Pegasus


In Greek mythology Andromeda was the Princess of Ethiopia, daughter of Queen Cassiopeia and King Cepheus.

The entire "family" is grouped together in the northeast sky in front of and to the right of the Milky Way. Cassiopeia is the easily found "W" with Cepheus above her and Perseus below her. Andromeda is to the right of Perseus, and Pegasus is to the right and slightly taller than Andromeda.

Andromeda is one of the largest constellations in the sky and is visible August-January. It's one of the 48 constellations listed by Ptolemy in the 2nd century. You might remember from a previous article that Cassiopeia bragged that her daughter was more beautiful than Nereids, the sea nymphs.

She was punished by having her daughter chained to a rock by the ocean to be devoured by the sea monster Cetus. Andromeda was rescued by Perseus, who then married her.

Andromeda is a large horizontal "V" shape with the star connecting the point of the "V" also the third-base star in the "Great Square of Pegasus".

In various cultures she's been called the chained lady, horse stable, flying snake, walking foot and porpoise. I think it looks like a walking horse foot.  What do you think it resembles?

The Great Square of Pegasus is an asterism and is the most identifiable portion of the Pegasus galaxy, which is visible in the same months as Andromeda.

In Greek mythology it's a winged horse with magical powers. Pegasus represents the son of Neptune and Medusa, who eventually became the thundering horse of Zeus and the carrier of his lightning bolts.

Perseus killed Medusa and cut off her head. When some of her blood dripped into the sea, the sea god Poseidon fashioned the "flying horse" and gave it to Perseus who rode it while having great adventures.

The horse in the constellation is upside down with the lower right extension being the neck and head. The two upper-right extensions off the square are the legs. When you envision it upside down, it’s kind of does resemble a flying horse.

The Geminids meteor shower is active from Dec. 4-17, and they are the best meteor shower we have. Unfortunately, the full moon is on the 7th. The only good thing about this is that they can do up to 150 meteors per hour at their peak. Since its peak is on Dec. 14, we might be able to see some. It starts at 9 p.m., but peaks around 1 a.m. So even though the full moon is on the 7th, we can look at the peak and hopefully we’ll be able to see some. The good thing is that the new moon is active when the Ursids peak. So, I’ll write about them next week.

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