Almach (γ Andromedae)
The third brightest star in Andromeda and one of the most beautiful double stars in the sky. The brighter star of the pair appears golden yellow or slightly orange; it is a bright (of second magnitude) giant K star. The fainter companion, which appears greenish-blue, is also double.
This star is also known as Almaak, Alamak, Almak, or Almaach, from Ar. Al-'Anaq al-'Ardh "a small animal of Arabia similar to a badger."
Alpheratz (α Andromedae)
The brightest star in → Andromeda with a visual magnitude of 2.07. Alpheratz is a blue → subgiant star of spectral type B8 IV lying at a distance of about 97 → light-years. It is particularly remarkable because of the unusual strength of mercury and manganese absorption lines in its spectrum.
Other names for this star are Alpherat, Sirrah, or Sirah.
These names derive from Ar. As-Surrat al-Faras
Ândromedâ, Zan-e bé Zanjir Basté (#)
In Gk. mythology, Andromeda was the princess of Ethiopia, daughter of → Cepheus and → Cassiopeia. The queen Cassiopeia angered Poseidon by saying that Andromeda (or possibly Cassiopeia herself) was more beautiful than the Nereids. Poseidon sent a sea monster to prey upon the country; he could be appeased only by the sacrifice of the king's daughter. Andromeda in sacrifice was chained to a rock by the sea; but she was rescued by → Perseus, who killed the monster and later married her. Cassiopeia, Cepheus, and Andromeda were all set among the stars as constellations.
Zan-e bé Zanjir Basté "the chained woman," coined by the 11th century astronomer Biruni, from Ar. Emra'at al-mosalsalah "the chained woman," from the Gk. mythology.
Andromeda galaxy (M31, NGC 224)
kahkašân-e Ândromedâ (#), ~ Zan-e bé Zanjir Basté (#)
Fr.: galaxie d'Andromède
The nearest → spiral galaxy to our own and a major member of the → Local Group. It lies in the constellation → Andromeda and is the most remote object normally visible to the naked eye. The earliest known reference to this galaxy is by the Iranian astronomer Sufi who called it "the little cloud" in his Book of Fixed Stars (A.D. 964).
Fr.: Beta Andromedae
The brightest star in the constellation → Andromeda with an average → apparent visual magnitude of 2.05. It is a red (B - V = +1.57), → giant star of → spectral type M0 III. Beta And lies at a distance of 197 ± 7 → light-years (61 ± 2 → parsecs). It has a mass of 3-4 Msun (→ solar mass), a → luminosity of ~ 2,000 Lsun (→ solar luminosity), and a radius of 100 Rsun (→ solar radius). Its other designations include: Mirach, Merach, Mirac, Mizar, 43 Andromedae, BD+34°198, HD 6860, HIP 5447, HR 337, LTT 10420, and SAO 54471. Beta And happens to lie nearly along the → line of sight to the galaxy → NGC 404. This galaxy, known as → Mirach's Ghost, is visible seven arc-minutes away.
Fr.: S Andromedae
The only supernova seen to date in the Andromeda galaxy and the first supernova observed beyond our own Galaxy. It was recorded on Aug. 20, 1885, by Ernst Hartwig (1851-1923) at Dorpat Observatory (Tartu) in Estonia and independently by other astronomers. S Andromedae reached magnitude 6 between Aug. 17 and 20, and had faded to magnitude 16 by February 1890. It is now believed that S Andromedae was a Type Ia supernova. Also known as SN 1885A.
S, from the second variable star to be discovered in constellation → Andromeda
Sirrah (α Andromedae)
Same as → Alpheratz.
Sirah, contraction of Ar. As-Surrat al-Faras (
Ra's-ol-Mosalsalé, from Ar. Ar-Ra's al-Mar'ah al-Musalsalah "The head of the chained woman," from Ra's "head" + Mar'ah "woman" + Musalsalah "chained".