M31 Andromeda TAM 16 Sep 12
The brightest and largest observable galaxy in the Northern Hemisphere. This was the object that really got me hooked on astronomy. It's an easy binocular target, even in light polluted urban areas. What did it for me was it's distance of 2.5 million light years, which is considered in our local group of galaxies. Since modern humans have only been around for about 50,000 years, that means the time it took the light to travel here and register on your eyes or a camera sensor is considerably older the the existence of human beings. What a humbling experience. As a poet friend mine recently commented: I's like a visual prayer.