Tuesday, February 20th, 2018

Andromeda galaxy



Also named Messier 31, this fellow will one day engage in a death battle for survival with our home galaxy, the Milky Way. The two galaxies are expected to collide in 3.75 billion years, eventually merging to form a giant elliptical galaxy. Although Mr. A is definitely headed our way, he is still 2.5 million light years distant. So not to worry.

This image represents a little over 2 hours total exposure, comprising 28 5-minute individual exposures that were later stacked and processed to produce the image above. Poor Stella. She has to work so hard to produce what would just take a single snapshot from a dark rural site. Light pollution is a challenge from my patio observatory, but I’m finding that with persistence and planning some amazing views are possible.

Some Wikipedia trivia:

The Andromeda Galaxy is the nearest spiral galaxy to our Milky Way galaxy, but not the closest galaxy overall. It gets its name from the area of the sky in which it appears, the constellation of Andromeda, which was named after the mythological princess Andromeda. The Andromeda Galaxy is the largest galaxy of the Local Group, which also contains the Milky Way, the Triangulum Galaxy, and about 30 other smaller galaxies. Although the largest, the Andromeda Galaxy may not be the most massive, as recent findings suggest that the Milky Way contains more dark matter and could be the most massive in the grouping. The 2006 observations by the Spitzer Space Telescope revealed that M31 contains one trillion stars: at least twice the number of stars in the Milky Way galaxy, which is estimated to be 200–400 billion.

Now you know.

Dave, still having fun.


2 Responses to “Andromeda galaxy”
  1. Tyler says:

    Hi Granddad! Amazing photo, really enjoyed seeing it. The vastness of space and other galaxies, amazing when you think about it..

  2. Dave says:

    Thanks for the comment, Tyler. We think a lot about you and your brood. Wish you were a couple thousand miles closer.

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