What's up in the Sky?
Above the North this month, flanked by her saviours, Pegasus and Perseus, is Andromeda, daughter of Cepheus, with her mother Cassiopeia closer to the Horizon.
While being a small constellation, Andromeda is well-positioned – it is right next to both of our galaxy’s large neighbours, Andromeda Galaxy (M31), the brightest spiral galaxy in the sky, and Triangulum Galaxy (M33) a bright spiral galaxy in its own right. One can find these galaxies by extending both ends of the line connecting Mirach and μ Andromedae, with Andromeda Galaxy being the one further west and closer to the horizon than its counterpart. Beside Andromeda is a smaller constellation, Triangulum, which is useful for finding NGC 752 (Caldwell 28) between Almaak and Mothallah. Thereafter, M34, the Spiral Cluster, can be found by extending a line from Mothallah through β Trianguli.
Below Andromeda and Triangulum, are the constellations of Perseus and Cassiopeia, home to a dearth of deep sky objects. Pacman Nebula (NGC 281) can be found by tracing the line from Shedir to Mirphak, while the Owl Cluster (Caldwell 13) can be found between Caph and Mirphak. The Double Cluster (Caldwell 14), a favourite for amateur astronomers and approximately the location where the Perseid meteor shower originates, can be found between Ruchbah and Mirphak. By extending a line through Navi (γ Cas) from Caph, one can find NGC 129, an open cluster, both the γ Cassiopeiae nebulae (IC 59, reflection and IC 63, emission) as well as the open clusters M103, NGC 663 (Caldwell 10) and NGC 654. Finally, by extending the line further, one can find the famous Heart and Soul Nebulae. Lastly, the Sailboat Cluster (NGC 225) can be found west of Navi while Caroline’s Rose, an open cluster, (NGC 7789) can be found north-west of Caph.
Find out more about this month's night sky with the following handy resource: