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Spiral Galaxy in Andromeda

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This galaxy is well known among astronomers because of its special orientation: It is seen just about pefectly edge-on from our viewpoint. It features a broad dust lane cutting through its center. The galaxy is fairly dim when observed through a typical amateur telescope. The spindle shape is not hard to see, but seeing the dust lane is more challenging, and is said to require a telescope of at least 8 inches aperture.

Magnitude 10.8
Apparent Size 13.5' x 2.5'
Distance (light yrs) 27 million
Right Ascension 2:22.6
Declination +42 21
Field of View 21' x 16'

Image details:  Exposure times of 48 minutes luminance and 24 minutes each of red, green and blue, taken with an SBIG ST-8300M imager and a 12" Meade telescope at f/10.

January 2013