Under a marmalade moon

we go walking you and I.

 heads up in a field of stars!!

but we must wait till the mother moon sleeps 

To meet the 7 sisters 

only 440 light years down the Orion road

Oh!  and where did we park the car!!?

Hoping to get out there for some star shots at some point.

Astronomy Bites (and bits)

You ask me where is the Andromeda galaxy and I point – just turn left at Cassiopeia. She is  the Queen whose vain boasts unleashed a curse from the gods and as a sacrifice, her  daughter Andromeda is chained against the sky waiting forever to appease a sea monster from below.

Now go left cautiously!!  But never fear! Perseus is rising up from the north, his sword drawn, coming to the rescue. In August he showers the sky with the arrows of his wrath as the Perseid meteor shower.

The moon will not be outshone and so when she holds court, all the other heavenly courtiers must  bow and wear less glowing finery.

The faint light of the Andromeda Galaxy or M31 can be seen with binoculars on a dark night, and sometimes with the naked eye. In the moon’s light our sister galaxy is not visible, but when she is seen, she hangs like a curl of angel’s hair on, as Shakespeare called it, “the cheek of night.”

 Venus like the moon dances in shadow light.  Bottom center in her quarter phase

venus phase

quarter phase of Venus

this is what andromeda galaxy looks like through a medium size telescope  (image by Ted Van)

and from Hubble-

Something Scary

To think, she is a sister galaxy but beware!  Like ancient rival mythological sisters or warring angels she may be out to annihilate us, as she is on a collision course with our own galaxy.  Apolcalypse, like the battle for the heavens  is coming,  but not for a few billion years yet. 🙂

 

Background: ( astronomy)

our solar system is located on the Orion arm of the milky way galaxy. Many of the stars we see are  in that area.  The Perseus arm is a major arm of the galaxy and located there is a beautiful nebula called The crab nebula. It is the spectral remnants of a super nova whose cosmic explosion was witnessed and recorded by the Chinese  in the 11th century CE. It was like a sun in the night sky.  The star actually exploded  previously but the light of that explosion only reached us 6000 years later. That’s the distance it is from us!!  Can you imagine!! That’s why I love astronomy!! It boggles the mind.

Our galaxy is part of a group of galaxies called the local neighbourhood :D. When we see the andromeda galaxy we are looking at what she was 2.54 million light years ago.