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Sky Tonight—January 31, Star-hop from Great Square of Pegasus to Andromeda galaxy
Posted By Editor On January 30, 2011 @ 7:34 pm In Earth & Sky | Comments Disabled
Courtesy of EarthSky
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First, look westward for the four stars of the Great Square . You will find them to the right or upper right of the blazing planet Jupiter – in the west at nightfall and early evening.
Keep in mind that our sky chart covers a larger portion of sky than it usually does. The Great Square is so large that your hand can slip in between any two Great Square stars. Hold your hand at arm’s length whenever measuring distances on the sky’s dome.
Focus on the top star of the Great Square. If you look carefully, you will see the constellation Andromeda  as two streamers of stars jutting up from this uppermost Great Square star. To me, the two streamers make the shape of a cornucopia or a bugle.
Go to the second star upward on each streamer: Mirach  and Mu Andromedae (abbreviated as Mu on the sky chart). Draw an imaginary line from Mirach through Mu, going twice the Mirach/Mu distance. You have just landed on the Andromeda galaxy!
On a dark night, the Andromeda galaxy looks like a faint, blurry patch of light. If you cannot see it with the unaided eye, your sky might not be dark enough. Try binoculars.
So, try it tonight. Star-hop from the Great Square of Pegasus to the Andromeda galaxy!
Written by Bruce McClure 
EarthSky: Space 
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Universe Today 
StarDate Online 
Sky and Telescope 
National Geographic 
Space Com 
Simostronomy Blog 
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URLs in this post:
 www.EarthSky.org: http://www.EarthSky.org
 Image: http://www.berthoudrecorder.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/phase31.gif
 Image: http://www.berthoudrecorder.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/jan31.jpg
 Great Square: http://www.earthsky.org/article/great-square-of-pegasus-wings-in-sept-equinox
 Venus is the bright object in the southeast sky before sunrise: http://earthsky.org/astronomy-essentials/bright-object-planet-venus-2011-planets-2011-planets-tonight
 Andromeda: http://www.earthsky.org/tonightpost/clusters-nebulae-galaxies/andromeda-galaxy-closest-spiral-to-milky-way
 Mirach: http://earthsky.org/brightest-stars/mirach-guide-star-to-three-galaxies
 M31: Great galaxy in Andromeda: http://earthsky.org/clusters-nebulae-galaxies/andromeda-galaxy-closest-spiral-to-milky-way
 Bruce McClure: http://earthsky.org/author/brucemcclure/
 Astronomy Picture of the Day from NASA/JPL: http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/
 EarthSky: Space: http://earthsky.org/space
 CHANDRA Photo Album: http://chandra.harvard.edu/photo/
 U.S. Naval Observator Astronomical Information cente: http://www.usno.navy.mil/USNO/astronomical-applications/astronomical-information-center/astronomical-information-center
 Universe Today: http://www.universetoday.com/
 StarDate Online: http://stardate.org/
 Sky and Telescope: http://www.skyandtelescope.com/observing/ataglance/
 National Geographic: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/
 Space Com: http://www.space.com/nightsky/
 Simostronomy Blog: http://simostronomy.blogspot.com/
 Amazing Space: http://amazing-space.stsci.edu/tonights_sky/
 The York County Astronomical Society: http://www.ycas.org/tonights_sky.htm
 Scope City: http://www.scopecity.net/
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