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.