The Andromeda Galaxy, M31, a truly magnificent sight. It is the sister of our own galaxy and the closest major galaxy with a distance of only 2.5 million light years. Our Milky Way, the Andromeda Galaxy, and the Triangulum Galaxy, M33, are members of the Local Group, which also hosts a number of smaller galaxies all in gravitational interaction with each other. M31 contains about 1 trillion stars, twice as many as our home galaxy. It is accompanied by the satellite galaxies M32 (below the center of M31) and M110 (upper-right quadrant).
It’s not only one of the brightest Messier objects it is also quite large… six times the full moon in diameter. Under good conditions you can easily spot a smudge of light from this grand galaxy with the naked eye.
Ar large object requires a large image: It is a six-panel mosaic with a whooping 50 mega-pixels of final data – if you click on the image to get a full-screen view, you will see a down-sampled version with 25% of the pixels. The individual panels only use a little over 2 hours of LRGB exposures with 120sec each.
|Telescope||CFF Triplet APO 160mm, Riccardi Reducer, f=810mm|
|Camera||ASI1600MM Pro, 8-Slot Filter Wheel with Baader Filters|
|Exposures||2×3 Mosaic, LRGB, 6 x 4 x 18 x 120sec, ~14 hours total|
|Data taken||26 – 30 September 2019|
|Site||TURMX @ E-EyE Observatory, Extremadura|
|Processing||Robert Roth, 11 October 2019|