Scroll down to see various views of this nearby galaxy...
Here's M31, the Andromeda Galaxy. This is the most distant object we can see from earth "naked eye." The small red areas are caused by the deep red wavelengths of light given off by the Bright Nebula in the neighboring galaxy.
See this Wikipedia link for more info on M31. More: The Andromeda galaxy can be seen as a hazy patch with the naked eye from a dark site. Therefore, it is the most distant object you are likely to see with the unaided eye. It is easily visible with binoculars. In fact, it is too large to fit into the largest field of view of many telescopes, so it is best appreciated with binoculars. M31 is about 2,900,000 (2.9 million) light years away, and is the nearest major galaxy to our own "Milky Way." Below M31 is another, much smaller galaxy, M110 (seen only in next image, below). M32 is another galaxy shown in this shot; it is located just above and to the left of M31.
Notes: The image above is from the Fall 2010 Davis Mountains trip, 34*5 minute = 170 minutes total exposure. I was hoping for more exposure time but the weather didn't cooperate and I had to discard a lot of images. The quality minutes I do have, though, come from the famously dark west Texas skies. The Takahashi TOA 130 (a 5" APO refractor) with reducer, and Astro-Physics AP 900GTO mount, QHY8 CCD Camera & normal workflow. December 2010 from the Davis Mountains.
Above: The ruddy dust lanes of M31 have always intrigued me. I took some fresh images during the 2007 Davis Mountains trip and processed to enhance that feature. Image above composed of "only" 16x4 minute = 64 minutes total exposure, ISO 1600. Canon EOS 20Da (unmodified), ISO 800, Takahashi TOA 130 (a 5" APO refractor) with flattener, and Astro-Physics AP 900GTO mount. Davis Mountains, TX, 10/2007. I used my Current DSLR Workflow including the Lab technique to accentuate the colors. Previously called: M31: Another Perspective
M31, Andromeda Galaxy
"Most Famous Galaxy?" I think so. The Andromeda Galaxy got some name recognition in a Star Trek episode, the one where Andromedons (?) hijacked the enterprise for a 200+ year journey to our nearest galaxy.
Image Notes: Check out the different color balances on these various images. Which do you prefer?
Note the noise and color shift on the bottom image on the far right. That's where the exposures didn't quite overlap. The result is lots of extra noise on the right edge. The top image is a "stack" of about 10 individual exposures over two nights using a Canon 20Da DSLR on my Takahashi TOA 130 (a 5" APO refractor). Exposures were 4 minutes each at ISO 800. Top image: Bias and dark frame processing using Images Plus.
A starting point for the M31 images on this page: Pretty Flat!
1st Cut 20Da image. Stack of 6 images, 4 minutes each, ISO800, no darks/lights/in-camera noise reduction. 1200 pixels wide. Some Photoshop Lab processing to accentuate the color differences by steepening the 'a' and 'b' curves.
|Featured Astronomy Photos|
M31, Best Film Effort:
See exposure data at bottom of page
Combination of 4 images of about 1, 2, 3, and 4 minutes duration at ISO 1600. Ambient temperature in the mid 30's (F). Takahashi FS-102 with focal reducer, full frame. Autoguided with the STV.
|See M31 in a wide angle shot |
Best Film Effort Photo image above Info:
Composite of 4 photos of about 1 hour duration each, details to follow
Tak FS-102 prime focus with reducer at 610mm focal length, f5.9
SBIG STV autoguider using Celestron ST-80 guidescope
Losmandy GM-11 mount, Kodak LE 400 film, OM1n camera
Negative Scan, Nikon Coolscan IV ED, Processed in Photoshop
Copyright © 2002-2010, Dick Locke. All Rights Reserved.
Contact and Image Use Information