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M31 Andromeda Galaxy (NGC 224) *Explore*

Shot from my little backyard observatory in Fremont Michigan, USA over 4 nights, 19th, 21st, 22nd July and 17th August. Total exposure time is 10.16 hours. Since posting this image I have captured another 8 hours of exposures here:

www.flickr.com/photos/terryhancock/5056620914/lightbox/

The camera I used for this image is a Canon 5D Mark II which has been modified for astro-photography by having the original IR filter removed and replaced with the baader UV/IR block filter. The telescope I use for this image is a TMB 130SS (5.1 inch) F7 APO Refractor with a TMB 2.7" Field flattener. The scope is mounted on a Celestron CGE PRO German Equatorial mount which in turn is permanently mounted on a concrete pier in my small 8'x8' backyard observatory.

The image consists of 61 x 10 minute exposures at 800ISO. Upon completion these were stacked together and then processed in photoshop, many traditional images of M31 do not show show the central core. While processing I try to retain as much detail in the core as possible without getting rid of the bulge of the galaxy entirely.

Please comment, thanks for looking

Terry Hancock

 

Date of Shoot 19th, 21st and 22nd July, 17th August 2010

Camera: modified Canon 5D Mark II

61x10 min sub exposures with flat and dark frames.

Scope: TMB130SS F7 Refractor using TMB 2.7" Field Flattener.

Auto-guided with Orion Auto Guider on TMB 80SS

Mount: CGE PRO GEM (pier mounted)

Image Acquired using Nebulosity II, stacked with Deep Sky Stacker and processed with Photoshop CS3.

 

The Andromeda Galaxy is a spiral galaxy approximately 2,500,000 light-years away in the constellation Andromeda. It is also known as Messier 31, or NGC 224 and is often referred to as the Great Andromeda Nebula. Andromeda is the nearest spiral galaxy to our own, the Milky Way.

From my backyard on a moonless night, the central core is visible to the naked eye as a smudge.

 

Astronomy.com Picture of The Day December 8th 2010 and April 27th 2011

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Uploaded on August 20, 2010