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How to View the Constellations of the Autumn Sky

The stars of the autumn sky represent a wealth of both intergalactic objects and mythological tales for everyone from astronomy buffs to the casual observer.


  • Step 1: Prepare Choose a clear, starry autumn night to stargaze. For the best possible viewing, a telescope is ideal. But, if you don't have access to one, you can get a magnified view of the nighttime sky with a pair of binoculars.
  • TIP: Use a star chart specific to the current month to help guide and inform your search for constellations.
  • Step 2: Find Find the constellation Cassiopeia at the top of the sky in mid-autumn. The mythological queen is represented by five bright stars making a W, or M, shape.
  • Step 3: Locate Andromeda Locate the constellation Andromeda, daughter of King Cepheus and Queen Cassiopeia, directly to the south of Cassiopeia.
  • TIP: Look through your binoculars or telescope to get a better view of the Andromeda Galaxy, called M31, which is the closest large galaxy to our Milky Way.
  • Step 4: Find the Great Square of Pegasus Find the Great Square of Pegasus by looking for a square formed by four bright stars with very little visible in its middle. Find the front legs and head by picturing the winged horse upside down. Enjoy the transitional season to enjoy the constellations.
  • FACT: In Greek mythology, the winged horse, Pegasus, was born out of Medusa's body when Perseus cut her head off.

You Will Need

  • Clear night
  • Telescope or binoculars
  • Star chart (optional)

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