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Messier 31 – A Wide Field View

Messier 31 is about 2.5 million light years distant and is the closest major galaxy to our own Milky Way galaxy.    It is a spectacular example of a spiral galaxy seen slightly edge-on.  Its spiral arms and dust lanes are clearly visible in this 1.8 hour image.   This was a test image taken to evaluate whether I have the correct spacing between a new Takahashi 0.6x reducer for the FSQ-106 and my camera detector.  It turned out pretty good so I decided to publish it.

Messier 31 can easily be seen with binoculars under moderately dark skies and can also bee seen unaided under dark skies.  On the night I took this image I could easily see  Messier 31 as a faint smudge in the dark desert sky.

The photons for this image were captured on October 4, 2018 under the clear, dark skies of the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in San Diego County, California   This image is a stacked combination of 110 x 60 second exposures.  The subexposures were calibrated, aligned and stacked with PixInsight. Post-processing image enhancement was performed with PixInsight and Photoshop CC.

Click on the image below to see a slightly larger version.  Visit my Astrobin page at this link to see a high resolution version.

Posted in CMOS Camera Image, Galaxies

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