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M31, M32, M110, The Andromeda Galaxy Group with a TSapo100Q, 580mm f.l.

astrophotography ccd CMOS dslr dso imaging Orion refractor



M31, M32, M110, The Andromeda Galaxy Group with a TSapo100Q, 580mm f.l.

M31, M32, M110, The Andromeda Galaxy Group with a TSapo100Q, 580mm f.l.

The Andromeda Galaxy is a barred spiral galaxy, approximately 2.54 million LY distant, the nearest major galaxy to the Milky Way, and the largest member of the Local Group. With apparent magnitude of 3.44, it is easily visible to the naked eye, extending over 3 degrees in angular size - about 6 times the diameter of the full Moon. Spectroscopic studies indicate it is approaching us at 300 km/s, and that it is due to merge with the Milky Way in about 4.5 billion years to form a large elliptical galaxy. Its mass is approximately even with the Milky Way's at 1 trillion solar, while its actual diameter is somewhat larger at 220,000 LY. M32 and M110 are dwarf satellite galaxies, also destined for a merger.

Although M31 must have been observed by ancient astronomers, it is not mentioned in literature until 964 AD when Persian astronomer Al-Sufi referred to it as a "nebulous smear" in his Book of Fixed Stars. In 1745 French mathematician Maupertuis speculated the nebulosity is an "island universe" outside of the Milky Way. It was observed by Messier in 1764, by W. Herschell is 1785, and by William Parsons in 1850, who first identified its spiral structure. American astronomers Vesto Slipher, Henrietta Swan Leavitt, and Edwin Hubble played central roles in proving the nebula to be a separate galaxy, far outside the bounds of the Milky Way.

Image Details:
-TSapo100q astrograph (100 x 580mm), Canon 600D unmodified camera, Astronomik CLS-CCD filter (not ideal for galaxies because it blocks blue light below 450nm)
-iEQ30pro mount, Orion 60mm f/4 SSAGpro autoguider
-The image is a stack of 15x240 sec subs (10 discarded), iso 800, 30 darks, 30 bias frames.It was reprocessed by separating R and G channels, then recombining them as RGG to enhance blue color in the spiral arms.
-Software used: PHD2, DSS, XnView, StarNet++, StarTools v 1.3 and 1.7

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