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Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Messier 31, M31, the Great Galaxy of Andromeda

Another collaboration image, this time with David Lane. He is also a master of landscape astrophotographing, please, have a look at his homepage: 

Image acquisition is made by David Lane. He sent a massive amount of data to me to process and here is the first result, the Great Galaxy of Andromeda with 37 hours of exposure time.

Messier 31, M31, the Galaxy of Andromeda 
Click for a large image

A deep H-alpha boosted LRGB exposure of the Galaxy of Andromeda

Large resolution detail from the image above
Click for a large image

Dust lanes of Andromeda

A starless view
Click for a large image

This photo shows the M31 as it was seen just outside of our home galaxy, the Milky way. All the stars in the first photo are located in Our galaxy at maximum distance of few tens of thousands light years. M31 lies at distance of about 2.5 million light years. There is 2.5 million light years of nothing between us and Messier 31. Dim dots at the starless image are more distant galaxies and some hundred of globular cluster associated to M31 galaxy .

A vertical composition of M31

A poster format view to the M31


The Andromeda Galaxy, also known as Messier 31, M31, or NGC 224, is a spiral galaxy approximately 2.5 million light years from Earth. It is the nearest major galaxy to the Milky Way.

The Milky Way and Andromeda are expected to collide in 3.75 billion years, eventually merging to form a giant elliptical galaxy or perhaps a large disk galaxy.

At 3.4, the apparent magnitude of the Andromeda Galaxy is one of the brightest of any of the Messier objects, making it visible to the naked eye on moonless nights even when viewed from areas with moderate light pollution. It has an apparent diameter of six times as wide as the full Moon

An experimental test

This funny looking image is just stretched vertically to try to show the actual round shape of the galaxy.
It looks like a barred spiral to me.

Technical details

Data acquisition, David Lane
Image processing, J-P Metsavainio

Processing workflow

Deconvolution with a CCDStack2 Positive Constraint, 27 iterations, added at 33% weight
Color combine in PS CS3
Levels and curves in PS CS3.

Imaging optics
 William Optics GT81


Exposure times
Luminance, 18h
H-alpha, 1h
Red = ~6h
Green = ~6h
Blue = ~6h
Total 37h


Anonymous said...

My college graphic design professor would say that strong diagonal compositions are cheap attention getters.

J-P Metsavainio said...

My university logistic professor would say this is a space saver...

Unknown said...

Being an amateur astronomer myself all I can say J-P is JUST STUNNING! Especially for an 81mm scope. It does give you that very wide FOV though.
Gary R.

J-P Metsavainio said...

Thanks Gary!

Many, if not most, of my photos are taken with a second hand camera optics.
As you know, many nebula formations has a large angular dimensions. Have a look and you'll see what I mean.

Images with a Tokina AT-X 300mm f2.8 camera lens, a cooled astro camera QHY9 and the Baader narrowband filters,

Images taken with canon EF 200mm f1.8 camera lens,

Images are partly over lapping since I have used both optics for the same image.