M31, The Great Galaxy in Andromeda


(Click on image for full size version)


Description: M31 shown here, along with M32 (lower) and M110 (upper right), M33 and some other galaxies, along with our own Milky Way, form our local group of galaxies.  M31, by far the largest and most prominent galaxy in the northern hemisphere skies, is very large and generally visible to the unaided eye under moderate dark sky conditions.  At a diameter estimated at over 200,000 light years, it is 2.9 million light years distant and is thought to be twice as large as our own galaxy.  A more full size view of M31 is seen here.
Exposure Data: 10/6/2002.  RGB: 4x10m, 4x10m, 4x10m. -15C, 3.5 arc-sec./pixel.
Processing: Acquired via script with Maxim, reduced, debloomed, hot/cold pixel processing in Maxim, aligned and combined in Mira, RGB combine in Maxim.  Curves, levels, synthetic LRGB, mild USM in Photoshop.
Optical System: FSQ-106 @ F/5, ST-8E USB NABG/CFW-8A CCD camera, guided by eFinder/STV, Paramount ME mount.
Comments: Good tracking of 0.5 arc-sec. rms with eFinder/STV.