Click here to view it on a black background to appreciate shadow and highlight detail
When I was a kid, I remember reading in the newspaper that the Andromeda Galaxy would be visible in the north-eastern sky at a particular time of the night. My father had bought me a pair of Hanimex 7x50 binoculars as a birthday gift and I recall waking up and trying in vain to see this majestic object which was touted as being the most distant visible object to the unaided human eye.
I had no idea what a planisphere was, or what the constellations looked like. I remember reading that I had to look for the Great Square of Pegasus and navigate my way to the galaxy. Alas, I never found it on that night, or on subsequent nights.
Anyhow, that's how my love of astronomy was born.
20-something years later, I have been fortunate enough to photograph this most beautiful of celestial treasure-troves.
I couldn't wait to process this (as will be noted by not adding my normal frame and signature to the image). This was a very rough processing job. I will add some hydrogen alpha to this and re-visit it.
6.5 hours LRGB: 210 60 60 60.
I must say, though, that I am completely in love with PixInsight. What a remarkable piece of software!
M31 is one of the grandest and majestic objects in the night sky, and, easily the most famous galaxy outside of our own Milky Way.
It's easily visible in the northern hemisphere as a hazy patch to the unaided eye about the width of 5 full moons side by side. Those of us in the southern hemisphere must travel to dark sites to truly appreciate this gem.
A couple of years ago at the Albury-Wodonga Border Stargaze star party, I had the utmost pleasure of viewing this galaxy through a binoviewer (binoculars made out of telescopes). I sat in that chair for at least ten minutes with the binoculars glued to my face just marvelling at the grandeur of this galaxy. I could clearly see the brightening towards the nucleus.
I'm also certain that I could resolve M32 and M110, Andromeda's companion galaxies, which you can also see in my image. M32 is the bright spot in the galaxy, and, M101 is below it. Carefully viewing the central nucleus through a telescope reveals dust lanes.
The Hubble Space Telescope's images have shown that M31 has a double nucleus, which leads to the idea that this galaxy may have cannibalised another galaxy at some stage of its evolution.
For many years, astronomers thought that the Andromeda Galaxy was a nebula inside our own galaxy. It wasn't until 1923 when the astronomer, Edwin Hubble, showed that it actually lay outside our host galaxy.
M31 is now thought to be about 2.9 million light years away, and is over 150,000 light years across, with a mass 1.2 trillion times that of our own Sun.
When viewing this image, bear in mind that the light that you're seeing shining from this galaxy, travelled nearly 3 million years for my camera to record it.
I hope you enjoy this image as much as I enjoyed processing it.
Data Target: The Andromeda Galaxy (M31) in Andromeda Date(s): August, and September 2011 Detector: SBIG STL-11000M Telescope: Takahashi FSQ-106N Focal length: 530mm Guiding: Self guiding through SBIG STL-11000M Exposure: LRGB (210 60 60 60); total: 6.5 hours Exposure: L bin 1x1, RGB bin 2x2 Software: PinPoint LE: astrometric plate solving; MaxIm DL 5: Calibration, astrometric registration, frame registration, normalisation, and sigma clip stacking; PixInsight: composite registration, dynamic background extraction and background equalisation, colour calibration, non-linear histogram stretching, colour combination, morphological transformation, noise reduction; Adobe Photoshop CS5: post-processing and framing
Edit: stoked at my fourth Daily Deviation. Thank you so much (^IsacGoulart) for featuring me.
my only critique, and its quite anal and small, is that to the left you can just start to see a few large stars (or small galaxies). would be good to widen the picture a few more millimetres just so all significant objects in the picture are present. but as i said thats just being very anal, i cant see anything else wrong.
will be interesting to see what the hydrogen filter will do. ----------------- actually apparently i didnt hit the minimum word count above so i must try to find something else to critique :s
maybe try and sharpen up the smaller galaxy to the right or adjust the colours a little so we can see some detail in it.
Just think, in that galaxy there is right now is a planet like ours and someone is looking up at OUR galaxy and is seeing it as it was 2 1/2 Million years ago. We will never know about this said planet.
away time is back
:D! This time I've
got 1500pts to give
away c:The last
giveaway was really
well received so I'm
doing another! After
the way the last one
panned out, one
thing I would like
to remind you guys
of is to PLEASE
PLEASE follow the
guidelines so you
can be properly...
Guess what guys! I'm
reopening my stores
(Etsy and Storenvy)
and commissions, I
can finally announce
that I'm getting
married and I need
to save as much as
possible for the big
day, July 27th.
before anyone asks,
the wedding is not
been planning it for
a long time...
weeks theme of
Even though summer
is imminent, you
often find yourself
on your couch,
watching Honey Boo
Boo, thinking; "I'm
rather chilly o_o.
OMG I'M CHILLY." .
would rather blast
the air conditioning
and bundle up then
turn it down and
rely on the earth to
`anmari has been spreading her infectious positivity throughout our community for over 6 years. Throughout this time Ana has been at the core of all things devious, passionately developing an eclectic gallery, helping organise devmeets, participating in chat events and also recently completed dedicating her time as a Community Volunteer. We are absolutely delighted to bestow the Deviousness Award for May 2013 to `anmari, congratulations! Read More