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September 8, 2011
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The Andromeda Galaxy - M31 by octane2 The Andromeda Galaxy - M31 by octane2
The Andromeda Galaxy (M31) in Andromeda

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

Regards,
H

Edit: stoked at my fourth Daily Deviation. Thank you so much :iconisacgoulart: (^IsacGoulart) for featuring me.
Add a Comment:
 

Daily Deviation

Given 2012-11-08
:iconmatthewpaver:
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.
What do you think?
The Artist thought this was FAIR
33 out of 46 deviants thought this was fair.

The Artist has requested Critique on this Artwork

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:iconsindos:
sindos Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I swear I see it move and float off the background stars. Wonderful sight, thank you good sir :clap:
Reply
:iconjefz:
jefz Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
wow! That is a great image!!!!!!!!!!
Reply
:icongekkoukitsune:
GekkouKitsune Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Amazing...
Reply
:iconshadobian11:
Shadobian11 Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
Dear God, I was terribly lost
When the galaxies crossed
And the sun went dark.
But dear God, You're the only North Star
I would follow this far.
Reply
:iconkreepingspawn:
KreepingSpawn Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
The Glory, it is Epic. ;)
Thank you for bringing us a glimpse of celestial majesty.
Reply
:iconkomikino:
Komikino Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
How do you keep it locked onto the galaxy since the Earth is rotating and the night sky is moving?
Reply
:iconemiko-catonfire:
Emiko-CatOnFire Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
I love this so much. It's almost 3D-looking.
Reply
:icons0larclaw812:
s0larclaw812 Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012
The cannibal galaxy....awesome xD
Reply
:iconkyoshyu:
Kyoshyu Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Professional quality work, there. One of the largest and closest galaxy to ours, and it is magnificent!
Reply
:iconxepictacosx:
XEPICTACOSx Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Just WOW! This piece is amazing! The minimalism in capturing just the one galaxy with a few nearby is spectacular!
Reply
:iconchillypaz:
chillypaz Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012
Amazing! I've always wanted to see a picture of a galaxy in this site! :D
Reply
:iconbadboych:
Badboych Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Amazing photo. I have always been a fan of that particular galaxy as well as our own Milky Way. Within 5 billion years time the two will merge to form an even bigger galaxy as the Super Massive Black Holes also merge to become even more massive.
Reply
:iconalmighty-sheep:
Almighty-Sheep Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012
:'D
Reply
:iconchibi-demon-angel694:
chibi-demon-angel694 Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Amazing! :wow: :faint:
Reply
:icontorywright:
ToryWright Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012
May I use this as my desktop background?
Reply
:iconfuzzyacornindustries:
FuzzyAcornIndustries Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012  Professional Interface Designer
I think what makes this so incredibly amazing is that this is the real deal, not some PS photomanipulation.

I can't fathom the difficulty or cost for equipment to take such a photo.
Reply
:iconart-of-kbmiller:
Art-of-KBMiller Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012  Student Filmographer
That is amazing :D I named one of my prized possesions after Andromeda. Beautiful name for a beautiful galaxy!
Reply
:iconlucyjain:
Lucyjain Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012
Just beautiful.
Reply
:iconwingdiamond:
WingDiamond Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012
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.
Reply
:icont3h-puppeteer:
t3h-puppeteer Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
Amazing shot! :wow:

Makes me wish I pursued my interest in astromoney more! I still have interest in it but it's more of a hobby for me.
Reply
:icondr-platinum:
Dr-Platinum Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Truly amazing!
Reply
:iconrekalnus:
Rekalnus Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Well done.

Andromeda is a favorite of Messiers' catalog for me. Even 10x binoculars show it very well if the location is dark.

With smaller scope and sophisticated processing, This view equals those old Hansen Planetarium posters, made from negatives captured using 24" and 48" mirror Schmidt cameras.

Congrats on this DD
Reply
:iconrkmstudios:
RKMStudios Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012  Professional General Artist
What is the largest resolution you have of this? Curious to the sensor(s) you were working with.

Truly amazing!
Reply
:iconwindsweptspirit:
WindsweptSpirit Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
6.5 hour exposure. That's just...wow. This picture looks like the type of photo one would find in textbooks or books about the night sky. I love astronomy, but I rarely get to see the stars because I live next to a busy highway, and most of them are blocked out. I didn't even know that one could get photos like this from the ground. I always assumed that photos like these were only possible if taken by something like Hubble. It's why I was so amazed to see that this was a photograph as opposed to like, a digital art piece or photomanipulation or something along those lines.

Stunning. Just...amazing.
Reply
:icontribalgraces:
TribalGraces Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Wow. Amazing photo. Congrats on the well-deserved DD.
Reply
:iconalarickai:
AlaricKai Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012
I love pictures of space. Love them. They're my favorite.
Reply
:iconthe-dude-l-bug:
The-Dude-L-Bug Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Wonderful shot.

LOL! Of course I wouldn't expect less from a very competent Astro buff using such nice scope.



(insert Homer "donut-gasm" voice)
A Tak FSQ-106N.....
aaaaahhhhh....
Reply
:icondragonartistjrr:
dragonartistJRR Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012
Amazing. This took 6.5 HOURS to capture?! 0_o
Reply
:iconzesly:
ZeSly Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
M31 as Daily Deviation, well deserved. Congratulation matte !
Reply
:iconsolomon-russell:
solomon-russell Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Excellent photo. A beautiful sight indeed.
Reply
:iconcrystalsabre:
CrystalSabre Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I don't normally like photography, but good space photography such as this is an exception. It really does look professionally done. Congrats on getting a DD. I, too, like outer space and like watching documentaries on this subject. Did you know that the Voyager probe has just left our solar system? I think it's voyager 2?
Reply
:iconsegura2112:
segura2112 Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Bueautiful shot, did you know that ower galixy and Andromeda are going to collide in the next billion years or so. And sometime in the next couple of million years we will start interacting with Andromeda.
Thank You and congrats on the DD!
Reply
:iconcrystalsabre:
CrystalSabre Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I did know that. Too bad we won't be there to see it happen.
Reply
:iconchaincrystal:
Chaincrystal Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012
A real grand picture!
Reply
:iconfrenchfox:
frenchfox Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012
:omg: Fascinating and gorgeous ! :clap:
Reply
:iconkureiyaa:
Kureiyaa Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm in love with this picture and your story behind it. <3
I'm super big on astronomy as well and this has inspired me to try and get my huge telescope out tonight and stargaze, allowing that the weather permits it.
Reply
:iconjlundhart:
jLundhArt Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Stunning and absolutely majestic.
One can't help but be in complete awe when being face to face with the grandeur of the cosmos.

It is also quite interesting, not to mention mind-breaking, to think about things that are so far, and many much farther, away.
3 million years is a very long time, so technically the galaxy we're looking at isn't really where we look.
Reply
:iconamar50:
amar50 Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012
Very interesting blog. Thanks for this blog.

hd space wallpapers
amazing high definition wallpapers
Reply
:icontitan303:
Titan303 Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Totally Awesome!!!!
Reply
:icontyrranux:
Tyrranux Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012
Y'know looking back now it's funny just how much stuff in the universe we've named after characters in Greek/Roman mythology XD
Reply
:iconandr0m3dauk:
Andr0m3dauk Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
:D <3
Reply
:iconinkmlab:
inkmlab Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
I' m in love too with the astronomy! Excellent work ...isn'it ngc224? Congrats for the daily deviation :woohoo: :glomp:
Reply
:icongryffgirl:
Gryffgirl Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012
Stunning!
Reply
:iconevertide:
Evertide Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012   Writer
I can totally relate to that love of astronomy. Ever since I was a little kid, learning about space has always filled me with a sense of wonder.
Reply
:iconnyiana-sama:
Nyiana-sama Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012
:la: Congrats on the daily deviation!
Reply
:icons3crt:
S3cRt Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012
Amazing.
Reply
:iconafinewar:
AFineWar Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Congratulations on your Daily Deviation :clap:
Reply
:iconmewpheebee:
mewpheebee Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012  Student General Artist
This is incredible! So awesome that you could share this beauty! :hug:
Congrats on the DD :)
Reply
:iconscabeater:
Scabeater Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Wow, I didn't know that you could photograph other galaxies from earth without a NASA telescope or something like that! Beautiful!
Reply
:iconelectrifried:
electrifried Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2012  Professional Interface Designer
It's so cool to think this is wayyy up there in space...and just how freakin MASSIVE it is. All in one image O_O
Reply
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