The image below combined 51 luminance, 10 red, 10 green, and 14 blue 2-minute exposures through a 4" refractor using an
ST10 XME camera, for a total imaging time of 2 hours 50 minutes.
Music - Chariots of Fire theme..
The Great Andromeda Galaxy, M31, is the farthest object most of us will ever see with the naked eye. At a distance of over 2 million light years, this
galaxy is so huge that it occupies an area in the sky several times larger than the full moon! Although similar to our own Milky Way Galaxy, M31 is twice
as large, containing 300 billion suns. Billions of stars are packed tightly together at the galaxy's core, creating the bright central glow, concealing a central
massive black hole . Two satellite galaxies of M31 are in the same view. M32, a dwarf elliptical galaxycontaining a mere 3 billion solar masses, is tucked
in tightly on the left of M31. M110 is slightly larger, seen in the bottom right of this image.
The image above used 30 minutes each of red, green, and blue exposures (5 x 6 minute subframes) with a Takahashi Sky90 refractor with a reducer to
yield 400mm focal length, and a QSI-583 camera. Total imaging time was just 90 minutes. The image below, obtained 7 years earlier, combined 15
luminance, 14 red, 8 green, and 8 blue 5-minute exposures through the same small telescope, using an ST10 XME camera, for a total imaging time of 3
hours 45 minutes. Two years earlier I imaged this same object from my light-polluted backyard, shown below. Which do you prefer?