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Your M-31 Images Will Continue To Improve....Why?

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#1 Klitwo

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Posted 25 February 2016 - 09:01 PM

At 2.5 million light years distance, it may sound like a bit of a joke to most of us, but astro-imaging of the Andromeda galaxy (M-31) in terms of resolution and image scale size will continue to improve on the very smallest imaginable scale as it approaches the Milky Way at a rate of approximately 250,000 miles per hour (6,000,000 miles/day) over the next 4 billion years.  Not that we should all hold our breath when the Andromeda galaxy finally merges with the Milky Way or that we should leave that day blank on our calendars...but never-the-less it will happen...and it's a pretty good bet that it will happen long after life on this planet has long since disappeared for good....So what will the merger between M-31 and our Milky Way galaxy look like in approximately 3.75 billions years?  See the attached Wikimedia Commons Public Domain illustration by www.nasa.gov. for a better impression of the size and scale of this extremely distant...much anticipated future cosmic event. 

 

But wouldn't it great to be still around 3.75 billion years from now to actually witness this naked-eye spectacular cosmic merger between two large splendid galaxies.  The actual cosmic galactic merger show itself as pictured here in the photo will probably be much the same as going to your 100 year high school reunion...No one is going to be around to enjoy it.

 

Klitwo

Attached Thumbnails

  • Andromeda Collides with the Milky Way - Public Domain -1.jpg

Edited by Klitwo, 27 February 2016 - 04:15 AM.

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#2 bobzeq25

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Posted 25 February 2016 - 09:08 PM

You could have a similar experience right now.  Living on one of he galaxies in a tight grouping would no doubt give you a spectacular night sky.


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#3 Klitwo

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Posted 25 February 2016 - 09:55 PM

You could have a similar experience right now.  Living on one of he galaxies in a tight grouping would no doubt give you a spectacular night sky.

 

Yea...we should be so lucky....But having the awesome Andromeda galaxy (M-31) barreling down on us at over 250,000 miles per hour over the next 4 billion years is not such a bad deal either...Just too bad none of us are going to be around to see it in it's entirety.

 

Klitwo


Edited by Klitwo, 26 February 2016 - 10:11 PM.


#4 ewave

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Posted 25 February 2016 - 10:01 PM

I might take a pass on all of those extra photons, namely the higher frequency ones (cosmic, gamma, x-rays and UV).

 

OTOH, the visible spectrum would be quite spectacular.



#5 ecuador

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Posted 25 February 2016 - 10:04 PM

Well, I think the difference is obvious. Try comparing M31 photos from the 1800s, to ones in the mid 1900s, to modern ones, it must be because it's coming closer!  :lol:


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#6 whwang

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Posted 26 February 2016 - 10:01 PM

no wonder my M31 taken in 2015 is way better than my M31 taken in 2005.


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#7 Klitwo

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Posted 26 February 2016 - 10:33 PM

Based on a continuous speed of approximately 250,000 miles per hour...a 24 hour Earth day and 365.24 days in an Earth year...a simple calculation shows that M-31 is approx. 21,914,400,000 miles closer to us than it was ten years ago in Feb. 2006....For a hundred year span...M-31 is approx. 219,144,000,000 miles closer to us than it was in Feb. 1916.

 

Klitwo


Edited by Klitwo, 27 February 2016 - 03:59 AM.


#8 Klitwo

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Posted 27 February 2016 - 07:08 PM

Someone may wish to scale down Wikimedia Commons Public Domain (prime focus image) Dec. 29, 1888 photo of M-31 taken by Issac Roberts with his 20 inch silver-on-glass 100 inch focal length Cassegrain Grubb reflector to an appropriate image scale and thus compare it to a more recent prime focus image photo (1988 for example) of the Andromeda galaxy taken with a similar telescope with the same or similar optical characteristics...and thus record any noticeable difference(s) between the two images given that it has been a hundred year span between photos.  Any contrasting differences noted might possibly make for an interesting conversation.

 

Klitwo

Attached Thumbnails

  • M-31 Issac Roberts 1899 - Public Domain.jpg

Edited by Klitwo, 27 February 2016 - 08:04 PM.

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#9 Klitwo

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Posted 28 February 2016 - 12:30 AM

Even though Issac Robert's 20 inch Grubb Cassegrain and 7 inch Grubb refractor were made in 1885...They were both superbly engineered on an exceptional equatorial mount complete with an electric drive...Very modern looking telescopes for the time....see Wikipedia photo image below.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Isaac Roberts 20 inch Grubb Cassegrain & 7 Refractor telescope on the same mount - Wikipedia.jpg

Edited by Klitwo, 28 February 2016 - 12:47 AM.


#10 John_Gillies

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Posted 28 February 2016 - 11:54 AM

It's not all doom and gloom.  By the picture Klitwo posted, it's still about 2 billion years away which will probably be before the Sun blows up.  Anything later and it's just too close to enjoy and I think I can manage to place it in my 17 - 85mm lens field of view.  So 2 billion years from now is when I want to be here!



#11 JoeR

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Posted 28 February 2016 - 01:28 PM

On the flip side Jupiter's GRS is continuing to decrease in diameter. Hubble was able to accurately measure the extent of the GRS over the past 20 years and found that it’s been shrinking by about 1,000km per year. At this rate it could vanish within a generation, or it could possibly engulf another storm and expand again.


Edited by JoeR, 28 February 2016 - 01:56 PM.


#12 Klitwo

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Posted 28 February 2016 - 01:51 PM

According to Wikipedia...In terms of the 'Future of the Earth, the Solar System and the Universe'...The general impression is: 'Leave that day (2 billion years from now) 'blank' on your calendar' because it's going to start warming up down here 'Big Time'.  Better start 'chilling' down those beers and whiskey sours...then start looking around for a couple of extra-heavy duty air conditioners inorder to beat the heat down here on planet Earth over the next two billion years.  At least you won't have to worry about buying a new barbecue....  :waytogo:  

 

 

Klitwo


Edited by Klitwo, 29 February 2016 - 12:39 PM.


#13 Klitwo

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Posted 28 February 2016 - 08:19 PM

An update of sorts....

 

The coming merger of our Milky Way and Andromeda galaxy won’t happen for another 4 billion years, but there has been a recent discovery of an enormous halo of hot ionized gas and dust in the molecular form that surrounds the Andromeda galaxy (M-31) which may mean that our two galaxies are already in contact with each other. University of Notre Dame astrophysicist Nicholas Lehner who was a leader of a team of scientists that used the Hubble Space Telescope to confirm the massive halo which was estimated to be at least 2 million light years in diameter that surrounds the Andromeda galaxy....See attached Wikimedia Commons photo/illustration - http://www.spacetele...images/opo1515a

 

P.S.  One should note that the actual fate of the Earth and the solar system after the Andromeda galaxy and the Milky Way physically merge with each other is currently unknown. However before the two galaxies actually merge, there is a small possibility that our solar system could be ejected from the Milky Way or even possibly join M31.  Now that's something to look forward too.....

 

 

Klitwo

Attached Thumbnails

  • Hubble Finds Giant Halo Around the Andromeda Galaxy - Wikimedia Commons.jpg

Edited by Klitwo, 29 February 2016 - 11:53 PM.

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#14 John_Gillies

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Posted 02 March 2016 - 01:40 PM

"our two galaxies are already in contact with each other"  Now I know where all that noise in my images is coming from!


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#15 Klitwo

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Posted 05 March 2016 - 05:37 PM

Hi John...

 

On a much less serious note and 'not' intended to be humorous...but if you were still going to be around for the next three billion years or so...you could expect to see progressively shorter exposure times when imaging M-31.  That possibility should be somewhat encouraging and obviously something to look forward too....however, I wouldn't necessary plan on it unless you've been blessed with 'immortality'.... :waytogo:


Edited by Klitwo, 05 March 2016 - 11:13 PM.


#16 srosenfraz

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Posted 06 March 2016 - 11:48 AM

Hi John...

 

On a much less serious note and 'not' intended to be humorous...but if you were still going to be around for the next three billion years or so...you could expect to see progressively shorter exposure times when imaging M-31.  That possibility should be somewhat encouraging and obviously something to look forward too....however, I wouldn't necessary plan on it unless you've been blessed with 'immortality'.... :waytogo:

 

I previously assumed the same, but a few years ago, I was summarily educated by Bob Vanderbei.  Interestingly that's not actually the case.  Assuming that M31 is still at a distance that it acts as an extended object (i.e., not individually resolved stars in exposures), then its apparent surface brightness would remain the same.  As the galaxy approaches us, it does become brighter.  However, it also covers a proportionally larger area.  For this reason the mag/arcsec^2 of any given portion remains the same.  Ergo, your required exposure is unchanged.

 

We experience the exact same phenomena in our daily lives.  If you try to take a picture of me standing on a hill a mile away in broad daylight, you might use an exposure of, say 1/200 second at ISO 200 at f/16 (sunny 16 rule).  Now, if I subsequently drive over to your house and stand 10 feet away from you, you'll find that you still need an exposure of 1/200 second at ISO 200 at f/16.  That's despite the fact that I'm over 500 times closer to you.

 

Of course, the sad implication is that, if we were to figure out how to take a rocket flight towards M42, as we got closer to it, it wouldn't become dramatically brighter and start displaying beautiful reds, blues, and greens as the cones in our eyes began responding to colors inherent in the nebula.  No, I'm sorry to say that it would just be a larger (occupying a larger part of the sky) grey blob showing subtle hints of green.  Just like it does from here on good old Terra Firma.


Edited by srosenfraz, 06 March 2016 - 01:30 PM.

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#17 Klitwo

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Posted 06 March 2016 - 08:01 PM

 

Hi John...

 

On a much less serious note and 'not' intended to be humorous...but if you were still going to be around for the next three billion years or so...you could expect to see progressively shorter exposure times when imaging M-31.  That possibility should be somewhat encouraging and obviously something to look forward too....however, I wouldn't necessary plan on it unless you've been blessed with 'immortality'.... :waytogo:

 

I previously assumed the same, but a few years ago, I was summarily educated by Bob Vanderbei.  Interestingly that's not actually the case.  Assuming that M31 is still at a distance that it acts as an extended object (i.e., not individually resolved stars in exposures), then its apparent surface brightness would remain the same.  As the galaxy approaches us, it does become brighter.  However, it also covers a proportionally larger area.  For this reason the mag/arcsec^2 of any given portion remains the same.  Ergo, your required exposure is unchanged.

 

We experience the exact same phenomena in our daily lives.  If you try to take a picture of me standing on a hill a mile away in broad daylight, you might use an exposure of, say 1/200 second at ISO 200 at f/16 (sunny 16 rule).  Now, if I subsequently drive over to your house and stand 10 feet away from you, you'll find that you still need an exposure of 1/200 second at ISO 200 at f/16.  That's despite the fact that I'm over 500 times closer to you.

 

Of course, the sad implication is that, if we were to figure out how to take a rocket flight towards M42, as we got closer to it, it wouldn't become dramatically brighter and start displaying beautiful reds, blues, and greens as the cones in our eyes began responding to colors inherent in the nebula.  No, I'm sorry to say that it would just be a larger (occupying a larger part of the sky) grey blob showing subtle hints of green.  Just like it does from here on good old Terra Firma.

 

 

Hi John....

 

Obviously those of us who have some basic knowledge of astronomy know that a point light source (a star) becomes 'fainter' as it recedes from us.  Assuming the relationship between distance and intensity is just as true for any source of (incoherent) light....example being that light intensity 'decreases' as the distance squared.  Therefore the opposite must be true too....or am I missing something here?  In the case of M-31...in three billion years or so we'll find out...won't we? 

 

Klitwo


Edited by Klitwo, 06 March 2016 - 11:10 PM.


#18 John_Gillies

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Posted 07 March 2016 - 12:06 PM

Like me.....you guys have far too much time on your hands!



#19 whwang

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Posted 08 March 2016 - 02:02 AM

 

 

Obviously those of us who have some basic knowledge of astronomy know that a point light source (a star) becomes 'fainter' as it recedes from us.  Assuming the relationship between distance and intensity is just as true for any source of (incoherent) light....example being that light intensity 'decreases' as the distance squared.  Therefore the opposite must be true too....or am I missing something here?  In the case of M-31...in three billion years or so we'll find out...won't we? 

 

The total intensity from the object decreases with distance square, but the intensity per area (aka. surface brightness) on the sky does not, because its area also decreases with distance square.  

 

However, in amateur astrophotography, it has been a multi-decade debate whether total intensity is more important or intensity per area is more important.

 

Cheers,

Wei-Hao


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#20 steven_usa

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Posted 08 March 2016 - 10:05 PM

You could have a similar experience right now.  Living on one of he galaxies in a tight grouping would no doubt give you a spectacular night sky.

 

 

That was my first thought on this post -- how the perspective of other civilizations might be, near binary stars or closer set galaxies.  

 

Or consider how our perception of things would be different if we didn't have our moon.

 

To me, it has seemed that everything is "just far enough" away to challenge us, but not yet far enough to be impossible.  We crossed oceans, lucky the Earth wasn't so much larger to make that impossible.  We reached the moon, a nice technical challenge.  We have probes on Mars.   Even the nearest star(s) are, what, approximately within 100 years of travel time with predicted current concepts?  We could do that.   But the distance between galaxies is still so mind-blowing.   Every possible star we can SEE (what, up to mag 6-7? maybe 9 on a good day/good eyes) is still hardly anything at all to the Universe.

 

 

In some people I've spoken to, these mind-blowing distances are the very reason NOT to invest in anything in space -- it being a distraction to other more local concerns, like education and feeding the poor.   i.e. don't even worry about other planets, stars, galaxies, we're never getting there anyway.  To that, I just say why did we cross the oceans in the first place?  Why not just live in huts, or as cave people, why invest in civilization at all -- if it's just all going to be long gone and forgotten anyway?   I don't have the answers (I don't think a single answer to that exists), but it is interesting how some of us are just infused with the sense of curiosity and exploration, but some are not.  And neither is probably "right" nor "wrong", perhaps.



#21 pedxing

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Posted 09 March 2016 - 06:07 AM

Yes, but the speed of light is a serious limitation. No matter what you do, you will run into that.

#22 steven_usa

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Posted 09 March 2016 - 10:55 AM

Here's hoping to wormholes!  (except even if they actually did exist, I suspect they're not survivable for us)    Or, we "re-invent" ourselves into less massive packages:  just send our brains and a chip to bio-print us on the other side :)   A lot of medical tech to go before all that.

 

I once considered if the world WERE so large to make it impractical to sail the oceans (3 months at sea is rough, but imagine taking like 300 years -- self sustained on a wooden platform? then again such a world might be so massive, would it crush us by its own gravity?), then imagine that it happened that we developed radio technology first.  And it ended up that we communicated with native Americas by radio before actually meeting (both sides having developed that tech independently).   But unlike in the movie Contact, I suspect it would take quite awhile to communicate a common reference language.

 

For me that's one of the biggest motivations in all this, to see if anyone else is out there.



#23 Klitwo

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Posted 09 March 2016 - 01:48 PM

t

Here's hoping to wormholes!  (except even if they actually did exist, I suspect they're not survivable for us)    Or, we "re-invent" ourselves into less massive packages:  just send our brains and a chip to bio-print us on the other side :)   A lot of medical tech to go before all that.

 

I once considered if the world WERE so large to make it impractical to sail the oceans (3 months at sea is rough, but imagine taking like 300 years -- self sustained on a wooden platform? then again such a world might be so massive, would it crush us by its own gravity?), then imagine that it happened that we developed radio technology first.  And it ended up that we communicated with native Americas by radio before actually meeting (both sides having developed that tech independently).   But unlike in the movie Contact, I suspect it would take quite awhile to communicate a common reference language.

 

For me that's one of the biggest motivations in all this, to see if anyone else is out there.

 

Hi Steven...

 

It's entirely possible that intelligent life as we know it existing some where else in our galaxy may have already come and gone. For the sake of discussion and debate...wouldn't it be interesting if we humans who evolved here on planet Earth over the past three million years might possibly be the last of our kind...which makes us rather unique...at least in this galaxy anyway.  Andromeda may be a different story.  But if the 'truth is out there'...then it's playing hard to find...at least in our lifetimes anyway!

 

Klitwo


Edited by Klitwo, 09 March 2016 - 08:47 PM.


#24 steven_usa

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Posted 09 March 2016 - 10:30 PM

It's also possible we're the "first of a kind" :)  Except, sometimes it seems to me that our ancestors were actually from a crashed spaceship ("End of line", if you know the reference ;) ) -- evolution and lack of spaceship evidence aside, I'm so impressed with some of the ancients that it just seems they somehow got insider information about the universe (perhaps carried down from our original marooned generation).  Not likely, but I don't dismiss it entirely either.  Then again, I also shouldn't dismiss human ingenuity and just how much you can ponder if given the time to just think about things (as opposed to all the gadgets and responsibilities that distract us in modern times).

 

Our numbers might be slightly off, what if Andromeda has to sling around a few times before actually merging? :)

 

What if we could actually use our sun as the engine of a spaceship?  i.e. travel, and take our sun with us, like a boss :D



#25 Klitwo

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Posted 18 March 2016 - 04:19 AM

Steven...

 

Unfortunately none of us are going to be around in 4 billion years to watch the total impact of the merger between Andromeda and our galaxy.  As I alluded to in an earlier post...perhaps it would be wise to leave that infamous day 'blank' on your calendar.  In the mean time, still it wouldn't be a bad idea to get a couple of comfortable lawn chairs and a good pair of binoculars at the ready just in case there are still a few of us still left around after the sun does it's super duper solar barbecue thing....Don't forget to bring the beer and the tanning lotion....you're going to need it.

 

Klitwo


Edited by Klitwo, 18 March 2016 - 05:12 AM.



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