Andromeda is in our galactic neighbourhood of local galaxies. It’s 2.5 million light years away and yet it’s the most distant object visible to the human eye.

With the weather warming up, now is a great time to get out under a dark sky and explore your Universe. Through winter, the orientation of Earth allows us to look into the centre of our own galaxy, but in summer, we look away from the centre, allowing us to search for other galaxies.

The Milky Way is part of a group of galaxies that are all linked together by the pull of gravity, called the Local Group. There are about 54 galaxies in our Local Group. These are mostly dwarf galaxies clustered around the 3 largest of Milky Way, Andromeda, and Triangulum.

November is the best time to see Andromeda. It’s always thought to have been larger than our Milky Way galaxy. However, research published by the University of Western Australia node of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research (ICRAR) estimates that Andromeda is the same size as the Milky Way or perhaps even slightly smaller. Read the research for yourself here..

You will need a very dark sky with no moonlight and a clear view to the northern horizon to see Andromeda. Using a star chart or a free online tool like SkySafari AR or Stellarium will help you find Andromeda.

First, using a star chart or app, search for and locate the star called Mirach low on the northern horizon. Use this star and the pattern of fainter stars that are below and to the left of Mirach to try and locate Andromeda with the naked-eye.

When and where to look:

  • From 11pm, between 25th September – 6th October
  • From 10pm, between 24th October4th November
  • From 9pm, between 23rd November4th December

Look low on the northern horizon. Unfortunately, because it lies so far north, Andromeda will never rise more than 16° above the horizon making it very difficult to see from Perth.

For Telescopes and Binoculars

Andromeda looks like a small, faint, misty oval shaped object in medium sized telescopes.


To see this deep space object with the unaided eye, practice using averted vision to tease out the faint light. If you focus on a nearby star, it should make it easier to spot Andromeda out of the corner of your eye.

How to See Andromeda

Andromeda can only be seen with the naked eye under a completely dark night sky. Choose an Astrotourism Town destination on a moonless night.