WITH SEB JAY
DID YOU KNOW that your canal boat is a time machine? Granted – it might not look like a TARDIS, or feel like one. But add binoculars or a small telescope, and eyesight that passes as half-decent, and you really can travel. For a quick outing this November I recommend a visit to the Andromeda Galaxy. It’s a big place. You’ll find more than a trillion stars of different sizes and ages, burning away in a slow swirling orbit around a supermassive black hole.
Impressive, eh! But the really cool bit about your visit is that you’ll be seeing in ‘real time’ how the Andromeda Galaxy appeared two and a half million years ago. Its vast distance from us, and the fact that light from its stars only travels at a set speed, makes this time shift possible.
What’s more, it’s relatively easy to find. Look high up to your south-east early evening for a large square pattern of stars, then look for an arc of stars swinging out towards the left. The Andromeda Galaxy is located slightly above the first star in this arc to the left of the square.
The Andromeda Galaxy, imaged by Dave Eagle, 2.5 million light years away