Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Andromeda Galaxy

Hey Space Placers!

The skies finally cleared and I took my 1st pic for the Fall of M-31, the Andromeda Galaxy. M-31 is the closest large galaxy to our own Milky Way Galaxy and contains about 1 TRILLION stars - our Galaxy has several hundred billion stars.

It stretches out over 260,000 light years as opposed to the Milky Way Galaxy's 100,000-150,000 light years. A light year is how far light, traveling at 186,000 miles per second travels in one year - it is about 6 trillion miles.

Greg Redfern
The pic was taken with a 300mm f/4 telephoto which tells you something about the size and relative closeness of M-31. In the pic you can see spiral arms, dust lanes, star clouds and M-110 to the immediate left and M-32 to the immediate right which are two large dwarf galaxies to M-31.

The Andromeda Galaxy is the farthest object you can see with your unaided eye. It is 2.5 million light years away which means the light I captured in this pic left M-31 2.5 million years ago! This is about the time in Earth's history when our ancestors started walking upright.

If you look at this article and its star chart you can see where Andromeda and M-31 are located just off of the NE corner of the Great Square of Pegasus. Pegasus is visible in the East as it gets dark and rises higher in the sky as the evening progresses. If you have binoculars the view of M-31 is really enhanced, especially if it is higher in the sky.

M-31 and our own Milky Way Galaxy are on a collision course and will merge about 4 billion years from now into a brand new giant elliptical galaxy called Milkomeda. The two galaxies are moving towards one another at about 250,000 miles per hour.

Get out when the sky is clear and go back in time by looking at the Andromeda Galaxy. I will be getting more pics in the Fall and will share.

I hope you get out and see this beautiful galaxy.

Sky Guy in VA

1 comment:

  1. Nice space photo :) You write about lens, but there is nothing mentioned about your camera :) I'm also interested in space photo shoots, as I've discovered the beauty of night spy from PC games :) There is a cool game Mass Effect, and it even has mass effect 4 galaxy map.