Tips & tricks
Chase the darkness
M31 is large and visible to the naked eye but is washed from the sky by even a small amount of light pollution. Go to the darkest sky near you.
Let your eyes adapt
Even from a dark site you won’t find M31 right away. It will take at least half an hour for your eyes to ‘dark adapt’ enough for you to see it.
Find The Queen first
To start your M31 hunt, find the distinctive W-shaped constellation Cassiopeia, the Queen. You’ll find it high in the east by the time the sky is dark enough to see M31.
Look at M31 from the corner of your eye
If you struggle to find M31 straight away look slightly off to one side of where it is in the sky and it should pop into view. Seasoned sky-watchers call this ‘averted vision’.