I wasn’t going to share this image of M31, the Andromeda Galaxy quite yet. My original plan is still going to happen, but I feel I should share my progress with everyone.
I plan on getting multiple sessions with Andromeda over the next couple months with different exposure settings, and ISO settings to combine them all into one final mass stacking of Andromeda. This image wont be a part of what I do get due to star trailing along with framing issues when imaging.
This galaxy is huge as you can see from the picture below. This galaxy has a radius of 70,780 light-years, and is around 2.5 million light-years from Earth in the constellation, Andromeda. It is the largest spiral galaxy this close to our own Milky Way galaxy, but is not the closest galaxy overall. M31 is heading towards Earth for a collision course, but don’t be worried it’s not estimated to happen for another 3.5 billion years.
From the northern hemisphere it can be seen with the unaided eye, which I have even spotted without the aid of the telescope from my Orange Bortle Scale skies. At a magnitude of 3.5, Andromeda resembles a small haze in the sky which could easily be overlooked as a cloud, especially if you have some light pollution drowning it out. This galaxy when imaged is as wide as 6 of our full moons, but can only show the bright central core when viewed without the aid of photography, a telescope, or binoculars.
I did a polar alignment, and a very quick and dirty drift alignment and stacked 22 light frames at 1 minute exposures and ISO 800, and 25 dark frames. The above image is also just a quick edit in photoshop, as I wasn’t going for perfection due to the bad framing and star trailing, but I had to share what I did get anyway.
Omni XLT 150
T-Ring Adapter that came with the telescope