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M 31
Object Information:

Messier 31 - The Andromeda Galaxy

Constellation - Andromeda
Distance - approximately 2,000,000 light years

The Andromeda Galaxy is a naked eye object at moderately dark locations. It can easily be seen with binoculars as a bright fuzzy patch between the constellations Cassiopeia and Pegasus. At a distance of 2 million light years, the Andromeda Galaxy is the nearest large spiral galaxy to our own Milky Way. This galaxy is thought to be very similar in size and shape to the Milky Way. It is approximately 150,000 light years in diameter with a mass of approximately 200-300 billion suns.

The two companion galaxies of M31 can also be seen in this photograph. M32 is the white smudge just above the plane of the galaxy and to the left of center. M32 is estimated to be approximately 6,000 light years in diameter. M110 can be seen directly below M31. Both are elliptical galaxies and are gravitationally bound to M31.

The image below is a high resolution view of the central portion of the galaxy which gives a very detailed view of dust lanes, nebula and star clusters in a galaxy 2 million light years away.

Messier 31

Image date:

September 24, 2017

Exposure Information:

3 hours.

Imaged at:

Sam Diego Astronomy Association site at Tierra del Sol, San Diego County, CA

Equipment:

Takahashi Epsilon 160, ZWO ASI1600MM-C