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General Astronomy >> General Observing and Astronomy

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Dennis_S253
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/22/11

Loc: West Central Florida
M31 core new
      #5677700 - 02/13/13 01:31 PM

I always thought the 2 bright spots in the core of M31 were part of the core. It seems now that they are just stars that have nothing to do with M31. I'm unsure why sometimes I can see them and sometimes I can't. The only thing I can think of is, if the night is clear then the core shines brighter than the two stars. Thus drowning them out. What are your thoughts?

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David Knisely
Postmaster
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Reged: 04/19/04

Loc: southeastern Nebraska
Re: M31 core new [Re: Dennis_S253]
      #5677927 - 02/13/13 04:06 PM

The core of M31 does have a slightly fuzzy star-like point of light in its center which is the actual nucleus of the galaxy. There are also a number of faint foreground stars which are superimposed on the core of the galaxy, and if the seeing isn't terribly stable, they can be blurred enough to sort of "blend-in" to the glow in the interior of the core, rendering them hard to see. This may be what is happening to you. Clear skies to you.

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MawkHawk
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Reged: 08/23/09

Loc: SE Michigan, USA
Re: M31 core [Re: David Knisely]
      #5679691 - 02/14/13 02:58 PM

It could be that you're seeing both M31 and M32 in the same FOV.

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David Knisely
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Reged: 04/19/04

Loc: southeastern Nebraska
Re: M31 core new [Re: MawkHawk]
      #5680567 - 02/15/13 01:56 AM Attachment (23 downloads)

Quote:

It could be that you're seeing both M31 and M32 in the same FOV.




Well probably not, as it appears the OP is referring to the smaller glowing central core of M32. M32 is located well outside the visible core region of M31 (about 24 arc minutes away from the center point of M31 in fact). Even the edge of the main glow of the core region is probably close to 16 arc minutes away from the edge of M32. Below is a shot of the area from a blue plate of the Digitized Sky Survey that I have processed to show the brighter oval core and M32 in the same frame (60'arc x 60'arc with north at the top). Clear skies to you.


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MawkHawk
sage
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Reged: 08/23/09

Loc: SE Michigan, USA
Re: M31 core new [Re: David Knisely]
      #5680779 - 02/15/13 07:34 AM

That is a beautiful image tho...

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Madratter
Postmaster


Reged: 01/14/13

Re: M31 core new [Re: MawkHawk]
      #5681100 - 02/15/13 10:35 AM

Visually, both M31 and M32 have a stellar like nucleus. I'm going to assume the original poster knows M32 from M31. They are very distinct in the telescope. In addition to the stellar like nucleus, there are numerous field stars superimposed on M31 as well. Some of them are pretty close to the center.

At any rate, many galaxies do show a stellar like nucleus in the telescope. You don't see these in pictures because the core is always so completely blown out.


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Dennis_S253
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 11/22/11

Loc: West Central Florida
Re: M31 core new [Re: Madratter]
      #5683146 - 02/16/13 10:20 AM Attachment (9 downloads)

The 2 stars I see is with my 40mm (25x) and 32mm (31.5x) EP. And not always do I see them. On some nights I can see them., other nights I can't. Stellarium shows them also.

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MawkHawk
sage
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Reged: 08/23/09

Loc: SE Michigan, USA
Re: M31 core new [Re: Dennis_S253]
      #5684856 - 02/17/13 09:54 AM

Ah...weird. I've never noticed them. I'll have to look closer next time.

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