Messier 31, the Andromeda Galaxy   HOME INDEX BACK NEXT

Spiral galaxy in Andromeda

View larger image

At a distance of over 2 million light years, the Andromeda Galaxy is one of the most distant objects that can be seen without optical aid. This galaxy is not hard to see from any fairly dark location on autumn and winter evenings, appearing as a faint oval cloud, larger in its apparent size than the full Moon. This is the closest spiral galaxy to us, and it is larger than the Milky Way Galaxy in which we live. According to recent estimates, the Andromeda Galaxy may contain as many as a trillion stars.

Only the central portions of the galaxy are seen in this photograph; its spiral arms extend well beyond the edges of the frame. A wide-field view shows the full extent of this impressive galaxy.

Magnitude 4.2
Apparent Size 178' x 63'
Distance (light yrs) 2.3 million
Right Ascension 0:42.7
Declination +41 16
Field of View 35' x 27'

Image details:  Exposure times of 30 minutes each of luminance, red, green and blue, taken with an SBIG 8300M imager and a 12" Meade telescope at f/5.6.

October 2011



11 images, each 150 seconds at ISO 1600 with a Canon 400D camera through a Meade 12” telescope at f/5.4. 

November 2009