Near the zenith – the very top of the sky – at 9:00 PM this evening is one of the treasures of the deep sky. A dark location and clear skies will reveal the Andromeda Galaxy, the most distant object the human eye can see without the help of telescopes or binoculars, 2.5 million light years from here.
Near 8 o’clock this evening, as the Big Dipper scrapes the hills and trees along the northern horizon, look half way up in the north to find the North Star. Now continue, about the same distance to the top of the sky, where an upside-down w-shaped pattern marks Cassiopeia, the Queen, always opposite the Big Dipper as they pivot around the North Star.
The Great Square of Pegasus, very high and due south at 7:50 PM, helps us locate the mythical damsel in distress, Andromeda. The top left star of the Square marks her head, her body continuing to the east with medium bright stars at her hips and her foot. Andromeda is home to the Andromeda Galaxy.