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The Night Sky: Autumn Time Machine


Andrew Fazekas, astronomer
October 12, 2012 — Skywatchers looking up at the night sky this autumn can take a trip back in time and hunt down the Andromeda galaxy.


A pair of binoculars will help track down the galaxy which looks like a tiny fuzzy patch of light
A pair of binoculars will help track down the galaxy which looks like a tiny fuzzy patch of light

This neighbouring island of 300 billion stars is the nearest galaxy to our own Milky Way and at 2.6 million light-years away. It is considered one of the farthest objects visible to the unaided eye.

Hunting down the Andromeda galaxy starts with finding its namesake constellation.

A pair of binoculars will help track down the galaxy which looks like a tiny fuzzy patch of light to the naked eye from dark skies away from city lights. Binoculars can also help you spot the light from suburban backyards.

While it may look like an insignificant hazy spot in the night sky, it's amazing to think that the light from that galaxy was left on its journey through space at a time when wooly mammoths and lions still roamed North America.

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