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The Andromeda galaxy, also known as "M31", is a spiral galaxy about 2.2 million light years away from Earth in the direction of the constellation Andromeda, as seen in the image below. The Andromeda Galaxy is an excellent one to study because it is large and relatively nearby. Andromeda is similar in size and structure to our galxy, the Milky Way, but it is twice as massive. A handful of the 300 billion stars in the Andromeda Galaxy go nova each year.



This image courtesy of Philippe Durville at http://www.astrosurf.com/durville/andr6map.htm

The Andromeda Galaxy is the only galaxy you can see without a telescope from the Northern Hemisphere. From a dark site, it looks like a faint, fuzzy patch in the sky, and it is easy to find with binoculars. Andromeda is up in the fall sky. To find it, locate the constellation Andromeda on a sky chart, and then find it in the sky. It is near the great square of Pegasus. The location of the Andromeda galaxy in relation to the constellation is marked on the charts found here.

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For more information about the Andromeda galaxy, check out these sites: