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Saturday, 4 April 2015

Princess Andromeda

Hi dear friends and followers. I am pleased to see you here. Today I have a story for you, the legend behind the name of the Andromeda Galaxy

Princess Andromeda

The Andromeda Galaxy (/ænˈdrɒmɨdə/) is a spiral galaxy approximately 780kiloparsecs (2.5 million light-years; 2.4×1019km) from Earth. Also known as Messier 31,M31, or NGC 224, it is often referred to as the Great Andromeda Nebula in older texts. The Andromeda Galaxy is the nearest major galaxy to the Milky Way, but not the nearest galaxy overall. It gets its name from the area of the sky in which it appears, theconstellation of Andromeda, which was named after the mythological princessAndromeda. The Andromeda Galaxy is the largest galaxy of the Local Group, which also contains the Milky Way, the Triangulum Galaxy, and about 44 other smaller galaxies.

The Andromeda Galaxy is the most massive galaxy in the Local Group as well. Despite earlier findings that suggested that the Milky Way contains more dark matter and could be the most massive in the grouping, the 2006 observations by the Spitzer Space Telescope revealed that M31 contains one trillion (1012) stars: at least twice the number of stars in the Milky Way, which is estimated to be 200–400 billion.

The Andromeda Galaxy is estimated to be 1.5×1012 solar masses while the mass of the Milky Way is estimated to be 8.5×1011 solar masses. In comparison a 2009 study estimated that the Milky Way and M31 are about equal in mass, while a 2006 study put the mass of the Milky Way at ~80% of the mass of the Andromeda Galaxy. The two galaxies are expected to collide in 3.75 billion years, eventually merging to form a giantelliptical galaxy or perhaps a large disk galaxy.

At 3.4, the apparent magnitude of the Andromeda Galaxy is one of the brightest of anyMessier objects, making it visible to the naked eye on moonless nights even when viewed from areas with moderate light pollution. Although it appears more than six times as wide as the full Moon when photographed through a larger telescope, only the brighter central region is visible to the naked eye or
 when viewed using binoculars or a small telescope.

Andromeda is a princess featured in the heroic Greek legends. She had the misfortune to be the daughter of the vain Cassiopeia, wife of King Cepheus of Aethiopia. Cepheus was the mythological king of Ethiopia. He was deemed worthy of a place in the sky because he was fourth in descent from the nymph Io, one of the loves of Zeus – and having Zeus as a relative was always an advantage when it came to being commemorated among the constellations.

The kingdom of Cepheus was not the Ethiopia we know today, but stretched from the south-eastern shore of the Mediterranean southwards to the Red Sea, an area that contains parts of the modern Israel, Jordan and Egypt. Ptolemy described him as wearing the tiara-like head-dress of a Persian king.

Cepheus was married to Cassiopeia, an unbearably vain woman whose boastfulness caused Poseidon to send a sea monster, Cetus, to ravage the shores of Cepheus’s kingdom. Cepheus was instructed by the Oracle of Ammon to chain his daughter Andromeda to a rock in sacrifice to the monster. She was saved by the hero Perseus, who killed the monster and claimed Andromeda for his bride.

King Cepheus laid on a sumptuous banquet at his palace to celebrate the wedding. But Andromeda had already been promised to Phineus, brother of Cepheus. While the celebrations were in progress, Phineus and his followers burst in, demanding that Andromeda be handed over, which Cepheus refused to do. The dreadful battle that ensued is described in gory detail by Ovid in Book V of his Metamorphoses. Cepheus retired from the scene, muttering that he had done his best, and left Perseus to defend himself. Perseus cut down many of his attackers, turning the remainder to stone by showing them the Gorgon’s head.

The constellation of Cepheus lies near the north celestial pole. Its most celebrated star is Delta Cephei, a pulsating supergiant star that varies in brightness every 5.4 days. It is the prototype of the Cepheid variable stars that astronomers use for estimating distances in space.

Perseus would go on to be the founder of Mycenae where Andromeda would be queen, but first, she gave birth to their first son, Perses, who stayed behind to rule when his grandfather died. (Perses is considered the eponymous father of the Persians.)

Perseus and Andromeda's children were these sons: Perses, Alcaeus, Sthenelus, Heleus, Mentor, Electryon, and a daughter, Gorgophone.

After her death, Andromeda was placed among the stars as the Andromeda constellation. The monster who was sent to ravage Aethiopia was also turned into a constellation, Cetus.
Andromeda was the name of a TV series by Gene Roddenberry, starring Kevin Sorbo, the actor who played Hercules in the TV series.

Thank you very much again, dear friends, for visiting my blog. Please share your thoughts with us, if you will. have a great Week.
ڰۣIn Loving Light from the Fairy Ladyڰۣ

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