Andromeda Galaxy colliding with the Milky Way already visible to the naked eye in the sky

Andromeda is on a collision course with our galaxy. Now begins the best time of the year to capture with the naked eye.

Our Galaxy, the Milky Way, and Andromeda. which is a neighbor that is twice the size is in the collision path The two approach each other at a speed of 113 kilometers per second due to gravity. And even if they collide in 4.5 billion years, their outer layers begin to merge.

meanwhile People on Earth also have the opportunity to observe Andromeda, also known as Messier 31, with the naked eye.

from mid-August to November Spiral galaxies appear in the night sky of both our hemispheres. Despite being 2.5 million light-years away, Andromeda occupies a quarter of a degree in the sky. That’s half the width of the full moon, according to NASA.

When will the Andromeda galaxy be visible?

Due to its remoteness, Andromeda has diffused light. Therefore, to capture with the naked eye Having a clear sky is not enough. But there must also be no moon’s brightness and only a small amount of light on the surface.

For this reason, although galaxies are already present in the sky on these days, But it’s best to observe the galaxy on a night close to the new moon. in August This stage will arrive in the last week of the month (from 24 to 31 August). Look for a location with less light pollution, such as outside the city or in the countryside.

Location of Andromeda in the Peruvian sky at 3am on August 24. Image: Stellarium/The Republic

How to find Andromeda in the sky?

The galaxy appeared above the horizon. heading northeast Around midnight in Peru and other Southern Hemisphere countries (Argentina, Chile, etc.), and several hours earlier in the Northern Hemisphere (Mexico, Spain, etc.).

Located next to the constellation Andromeda—from which it got its name— at the height of the character’s ‘belt’. can act as a navigator in the search for galaxies

The Mirak star could help locate the Andromeda Galaxy, too. Image: Stellarium/The Republic
The best time to see Andromeda is between 2am and 3am, which is in the north at a high point in the sky.

To the naked eye, it looks like a small cloud. with some details But if using binoculars You can clearly see the grandeur of this neighboring galaxy.

Location of the Andromeda Galaxy (No constellation illustrations.) Image: Stellarium/The Republic
Andromeda has an apparent magnitude of 3.5 (the smaller the number, the brighter), which makes it more noticeable than most visible stars (magnitudes 4 to 6), but less prominent than planets to the naked eye (magnitude 1. to less than 0)

for this reason Astronomical observation experts advise anyone who decides to search for Andromeda or other deep space objects. You should try to adjust your eyes to the darkness of the sky first.

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