Tips & tricks

All About Space - - Stargazer -

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’.

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